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tained. In this his career, however, we are not questioning the general wisdom of his government, for in fact, he seems to have exercised his power in maintaining the peace of Europe, and managing his own unruly empire, with a degree of discretion (as an instrument in the hand of Providence) which the feeble monarch, whom he supplanted, could never have attained. But the whole tenor of his reign has been at variance with the views of those who made him sovereign, and to which he assented when so made; and consequently, it is now an act of direct retribution, that he has fallen by their means.
But retribution, too, is due for darker deeds than these. The treatment of Queen Pomare at Tahiti, the savage enormities in Africa, the wanton course of slaughter pursued year after year with a ferocity, which seemed to indicate that the French nation, like a wild beast which has once tasted human blood, is become insatiable without it— all cry aloud against him from whose government they proceeded. And to turn our eyes homeward-is there no feeling of indignation against the hypocrisy and duplicity with which England, and England's Queen, were treated during the subsistence of the now ridiculed 'entente cordiale,' while a subtle manœuvre affecting the crown of Spain, known to be inimical to our interests, as well as adverse to our political views, was in the course of being secretly concocted and brought to maturity?
The infatuation which latterly has prevailed in the counsels of this unhappy old man, seems a divine infliction. The cup of his iniquity is full, and through divine justice, he has been made to fall by an attempt most similar to that which prostrated the monarch on whose ruins he was allowed to rise.
What may be the result of this new disturbance in that unsettled kingdom, surpasses the ingenuity of man to conjecture; but we cannot err in affirming, that so long as the government of France remains alienated from the Church, and practically infidel, so long will it be hopeless to look for that settled state of peace and security, which the favour of Heaven alone can bestow.
The Crown,' says Dr Wordsworth,* has suffered irreparable injury from the annihilation of the church as an Establishment. The Church being left to itself, has become unnational, and indeed, antinational; it declares in a bold and somewhat menacing tone, that the Crown having now become unchristian has no pretence whatever to meddle in the affairs of the Church. The King of France, it says, * Diary in France, p. 154.
was formerly Rex Christianissimus ; as such he had ecclesiastical jurisdiction: but now he has renounced the title; and his Regale, therefore, is at an end,'
But whatever may be the political results, it behoves us, instead of joining in idle applause of these measures, to consider well our own estate—to see if there be no evil thing among us, which may jeopardize our own stability. One of the greatest blessings which it seems to have pleased Divine Providence to confer upon England is, that it has placed before her for her warning the example of France.'†
We are blest with a constitution, which insures to classes and individuals of every description, the utmost latitude of rational liberty that can be enjoyed consistently with the maintenance of order; for, be it remembered, that liberty, when pushed beyond its legitimate boundary, when exaggerated into licentiousness, becomes the worst of tyrannies. There is no liberty so complete, as that which restrains the evil passions from developing themselves in practice, because it insures to every person an immunity from the capricious infliction of wrong. And yet, if our own demagogues are to be believed, we are still behind in the race for liberty. The truth is, however, that these persons, who are, generally speaking, bitterly hostile to Christianity, are directing their weapons against the CHURCH; and strange it is to say, that those entrusted with temporal authority, while they seem to oppose, are often actually co-operating with them, by enacting measures prejudicial to her interests.
It may seem presumptuous to connect an idea of Divine displeasure with any earthly political party, but we cannot shut our eyes to the scenes around us, and the fact is not to be disguised, that whenever the affairs of this empire have been consigned to the management of the party now in office, disaster and derangement have invariably followed. And why is this? Men of the world ordinarily speak of the incompetency and rashness of politicians, who meddle with every thing, and improve nothing. But is this satisfactory, and sufficient to account for what we have remarked? We are no politicians, and have no political predilections; and we cannot but see, that a charge of similar apparent incompetency might be urged against men of very opposite political principles. But here, as in every other case, we look to a higher and overruling Power; and if we see, in the princi
* Most Christian King; the ancient title of the kings of France.
+ Wordsworth's Diary, p. 47. Since the recent events this admirable little work may be read with double interest. It was written in 1844.
ples of the party alluded to, any tenet opposed to the recorded will of the Most High, the result need not surprise us; and we may also here remark in passing, that we consider a political party in power as taking its distinctive character from its leader, not supposing of course, especially in these changeable times, that all its present members have always belonged to it. Now the Scriptures declare to us unequivocally, that all power is from God. By Him kings reign and princes decree justice.' The avowed principle of the party is, that power does not proceed from the Supreme Being; but that the people, the masses, are the sources of all power and authority, and that all government is derived from them as the result of social compact. We need not stop to discuss the absurdity of this doctrine, which contradicts all primeval principles, sacred or profane; but we may remark, that there is nothing at all extraordinary or incredible in the supposition, that people, who set out with an avowed denial of the rights of Heaven, should not receive its blessing.
The Church belongs to no party. She regards not the inventions of human society any farther, than as being in accordance with the revealed will of Heaven, or at any rate, not in opposition to it, they are promotive of the sublime end which she has in view, namely, the preparing men for Heaven, and in so doing, making them better men, better christians, and better members of society in general. Accordingly she looks on all ranks and classes with impartial eye, and is perfectly ready to concur with any reasonable alteration in existing institutions, which may be safe and salutary. Actuated by this feeling, the great body of churchmen stood ready to co-operate with the present head of the British Administration on taking office, in whatever judicious and moderate reforms he might introduce. And never did minister commence with more auspicious opening. The Church, tired and disgusted with the mean and paltry treachery of one who, professing to be a steadfast friend, had insinuated himself into her confidence, and proved in the end an insidious and dangerous enemy, stood prepared to cancel the memory of former wrongs and insults, and not only to accept the friendship, but support the measures of one, who might yet do justice to her and to the country. And how has this generous confidence been requited? Let the appointment of Dr Hampden, and the series of insults heaped upon the Church during the progress of this infatuated measure, answer the question. Never was there an instance of more wanton suicidal perversion of power. Never was there an action, of which men might more justly exclaim,
Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.'*
Without any conceivable motive whatever, the minister has contrived to alienate from himself the favour and opinion of every true churchman in the realm, (for even his own partisans lament the obstinacy which he has evinced), and has exposed to obloquy, and possibly to future danger, the power of his Royal Mistress. Nor is this a solitary instance, for whenever an opportunity-occurs, we find hostility developed by the members of Government towards the Church, as if she were an incubus instead of a blessing and a safety to our land. Of one truth, however, our rulers may be assured, that in destroying the Church, they will sign the deathwarrant of the monarchy. The evidence of English history on this point is before them; the example of other kingdoms, in our own day, is before them.
In France, 'the Crown has been jealous of the Church, and has kept the doors of the colleges of the State closed against her; but it now finds that in so doing it has excluded Christianity; and that it has to deal at present with a generation which has been educated without any sense of religious obligation, or of moral or civil duty, and which has no more regard for the throne, or for the sovereign upon it, than it has for Christianity and the Church.
What would not Louis Philippe give for a National Church, founded on the solid basis of evangelical truth, and apostolic discipline, devoted to the monarchy, and untrammelled by Rome?' +
Alas! if France had possessed such a National Church, Louis Philippe would never have been on the throne; but the principle is the same-only that the stability would then have remained with the legitimate monarch.
If then, we wish to escape the evils, which our country has once before suffered, and that fearful state of disorder, of which no man living can predict the termination, now involving the interests of our unhappy neighbours, we shall cease from our senseless imitations: we shall make France our example, our warning, and not our pattern we shall keep the old paths, where is the good way, and strive earnestly to avoid deserving that awful sentence of rejection pronounced against obstinate offenders of old - Ephraim is turned to his idols, let him alone.'
* Whom God wishes to destroy, he first deprives of reason.
+ Wordsworth's Diary, pp. 156-7.
CHURCH AND STATE.
PUBLIC attention has been forcibly drawn to this subject in England by the circumstances attending Dr Hampden's recent appointment to the Episcopate. Strong expressions of opinion have been elicited on both sides one party wishing entirely to merge the Church in the State, while some of her friends, disheartened and disgusted that her voice of legitimate remonstrance should be met with insult and disregard, seem not unreluctant to entertain the idea of the severance of her connection with the State, which they deem cannot be continued with advantage to her when the State has substituted oppression for protection.
Yet both these parties run thus into opposite extremes, from the operation of the same faulty principle.
This age is one eminently of centralization. On the surface of the material world, our radiating lines of railway communication are fast tending to gather all business to a centre, to the neglect and destruction of all provincial towns, which are only looked upon as stations and feeders to the great iron serpent, which gorges itself on their fatness to bear it away to the distant terminus. In the social world, the same principle displays itself in the absorption of local administrations in one vast central organization situate in the capital of the empire.
Yet centralization when looked on aright, and not pressed into extremes, is a sound and grand principle. The Almighty Creator is the centre of life and every blessing to his creatures. The Sun is the centre of light and heat, nay more, of that centripetal attraction which holds the planets in their spheres; and modern astronomy would fain believe she has found, in the newly discovered star Astroa, a further centre still, on which the Sun, with all his system, is himself dependent. And the Church is the centre round which all the affections of duteous Christians are entwined. Perhaps the source of error is rather to be sought in the invincible repugnance of the natural philosophical mind of man to admit more than one cause or source of action. It is the tendency of the scientific development of the human intellect which, throwing itself on a subject, labours to reduce it to exclusive unity; and the tendency to simplify and generalise produces a still greater disinclination to allow of modifications, limitations, and exceptions to any rule or proposition, than to