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For these I need not prostitute my fame, of the actual interest which they have Nor stoop inglorious to the men of Flo- in it. This is not so with their derence.
mand for food or raiment, or any arIn my own heart I'll look at Italy. ticle which ministers to the necessiBread I hope will not fail me.
ties of our physical nature. The more destitute we are of these arti.
cles, the greater is our desire after MOON
them. In every case, where the LIGHT SCENE, FROM THE
want of any thing serves to whet our ABOVE GREENOCK.
appetite, instead of weakening it, the The moonbeam play'd on Strona's rill, supply of that thing may be left, with
Whose waters kiss'd its banks of green ; all safety, to the native and powerful The breeze blew sostly o'er the hill, demand for it, among the people Where waving fields and flowers were themselves. The sensation of hunseen,
ger is a sufficient guarantee for there And Clutha, like a silver lake,
being as many bakers in a country, as Reflected back its blaze of light;
it is good and necessary for the counThe echoing whispers from the brake, Stole sweetly on the hum of night.
try to have, without any national esta
blishment of bakers. This order of The lovely flowers which wildly grow,
men will come forth, in number Were glancing with the dews of night;
enough, at the mere bidding of the The little lambs, like wreathes of snow,
Were sleeping on the mountain's height. people; and it never can be for want Though night's pale curtain hung on high, under the want of aliment for the
of them, that society will languish And dininess wrapt the distant view,
human body. It is wise in governThe stars gave lustre to the skyBen Lomond's top look'd cloudlessment to leave the care of the public through.
good, wherever it can be left safely,
to the workings of individual nature; The Highland shores were dark and dun, The sky above was living gold,
and, saving for the administration of The radiance of the distant sun
justice between man and man, it were Which now o'er Indian mountains rollid;
better that she never put out her
hand either with a view to regulate The dark blue hills like barriers stood, Between eternity and time ;
or to foster any of the operations of The distant windings of the flood
common merchandise. Roll'd their dark waves from clime to But the case is widely different, clime.
when the appetite for any good is Mine eye, 'twas fix'd my mind, 'twas free, short of the degree in which that Its flight creation could not bound !
good is useful or necessary; and, 2It linger'd midst eternity
bove all, when just in proportion to And gaz'd on worlds revolving round. our want of it, is the decay of our apIt mark'd the glory of the night,
petite towards it. Now this is, geneOn earth-on oceait-on the sky :
rally speaking, the case with religious And midst its revels of delight,
instruction. The less we have of it, I heard it whisper" they must die."
the less we desire to have of it. It But while I lingering mus'd---night fled,
is not with the aliment of the soul, as The moon grew dim-no stars
it is with the aliment of the body,
The latter will be sought after; the The sun in glory rais'd his head,
former must be offered to a people, And Clutha's banks again were green.
whose spiritual appetite is in a state D. of dormancy, and with whom it is
just as necessary to create a hunger,
as it is to minister a positive supply. CHALMERS's
In these circumstances, it were vain to wait for any original movement on the part of the receivers. It must be made on the part of the dispensers.
Nor does it follow, that because goIt is perhaps the best among all vernment may wisely abandon to the our more general arguments for a re- operation of the principle of demand ligious establishment in a country, and supply, all those interests, where that the spontaneous demand of hu- the desires of our nature, and the neman beings for religion is far short cessities of our nature, are adequate
THIRD NUMBER OF THE CHRISTIAN
the one to the other, she ought, párochial establishments will stand, therefore, to abandon all care of our so as that churches shall be kept in interest, when the desire, on the part repair, and ministers, in constant sucof our species, is but rare, and feeble, cession, shall be provided for them. and inoperative, while the necessity is At the same time, we hope that no of such a deep and awful character, restriction whatever will be laid on that there is not one of the concerns the real and exertion of dissenters; of earthliness which ought, for a mo- and that any legal disability, under ment, to be compared with it. which they still labour, will, at length,
This we hold to be the chief ground be done away. The truth is, that we upon which to plead for the advan- know not a better remedy against the tage of a religious establishment. temporary and incidental evils of an With it, a church is built, and a teach- establishment, than a free, entire, and er is provided, in every little district unexcepted toleration ; nor how an of the land. Without it, we should endowed church can be more effechave no other security for the rearing tually preserved, either from stagnaof such an apparatus, than the native tion or decay, than by being ever stidesire and demand of the people for mulated and kept on the alert, through Christianity, from one generation to the talent, and energy, and even oCanother. In this state of things, we casional malignity and injustice of fear, that Christian cultivation would private adventurers. Still, however, only be found in rare and occasional such is our impression of the overspots over the face of extended terri- whelming superiority of good done by tories; and instead of that uniform an establishment, that, in addition to distribution of the word and ordi- the direct Christian influence which nances, which it is the tendency of au it causes to descend upon the country, establishment to secure, do we con- from its own ministers, we regard it ceive that in every empire of Christen- as the instrument of having turned dom, would there be dreary, unpro- the country into a fitter and more previded blanks, where no regular sup- pared field, for the reception of ply of instruction was to be had, and Christian influence from any other where there was no desire after it, on quarter. Insomuch, that had the the part of an untaught and neglected period of the reformation from Popery, population.
in Britain, been also the period for We are quite aware, that a pulpit the overthrow and cessation of all remay be corruptly filled, and that there ligious establishments whatever, we may be made to emanate from it, the apprehend that there would not only evil influence of a false or mitigated have been no attendance of people Christianity on its surrounding neigh- upon churches, but a smaller attendbourhood. This is an argument, notance of people upon meeting-houses, against the good of an establishment, than there is at this moment. They but for the good of toleration. There are our establishments, in fact, which is no frame-work reared by human have nourished and upheld the taste wisclom, which is proof against the of the population for Christianity; frequent incursions of human depra- and when that taste is accidentally vity. But if there do exist a great offended, they are our establishments moral incapacity on the pårt of our which recruit the dissenting places of species, in virtue of which, if the les- worship with such numbers as they sons of Christianity be not constantly never would have gotten out of that obtruded upon them, they are sure native mass which had been previousto decline in taste and in desire for ly unwrought, and previously unenthe lessons of Christianity; and if an tered on. establishment be a good device for In order that men may become overcoming this evil tendency of our Christians, there must either be an bature, it were hard to visit, with the obtruding of Christianity on the nomischief of its overthrow, the future tice of the people, or the people must race either of a parish or of a country, be waited for, till they move themfor the guilt of one incumbency, or selves in quest of Christianity. We for the unprincipled patronage of one apprehend that the former, or what generation. We trust, therefore, in inay be called the aggressive way the face of every corruption which it, is the most effectual. Nature does has been alleged against them, that our not go forth in search of Christianity,
but Christianity goes forth to knock sent engaged with. The ability and at the door of nature, and, if possible, the Christian worth of dissenters, and awaken her out of her sluggishness. the precious contributions which they This was the way of it at its first pro- have rendered to sacred literature, mulgation. It is the way of it in every should ever screen them from being missionary enterprise. And seeing, lightly or irreverently spoken of. And that the disinclination of the human yet, among all their claims to the graheart to entertain the overtures of the titude of the public, we think that gospel, forms a mightier obstacle to they have a higher still, in their its reception among men, than all the wholesome re-action on the establishoceans and continents which mission- ments of the land, in their fresh, and aries have to traverse, there ought to vigorous, and ever-recurring impulses be a series of aggressive measures in on a machinery, the usefulness of behalf of Christianity, carried on from which they may disown in words, one age to another, in every clime and while, in fact, they are among the country of Christendom. To wait till most effective instruments of its uscthe people shall stir so effectually, as fulness.—pp. 89-95. that places of worship shall be built It is quite true that the establishby them, and the maintenance of ment has been greatly more powerless teachers shall be provided by them, in cities, than, with care and vigilance and that, abundantly enough for all on the part of our rulers, it might the moral and spiritual necessities of have been. It is not merely of the our nation, is very like a reversal of inadequate number of churches that the principle on which Christianity we complain, though these, in some of was first introduced ainongst us, and the chief cities of our empire, could on which, we apprehend, Christianity not harbour more than a tenth part must still be upheld amongst us. We, of the inhabitants. Neither is it of therefore, hold it to be wise, in every the manner in which the clergy have Christian government, to meet the been loaded with such extra-profespeople with a ready-made apparatus sional work, as, in fact, has reduced of Christian education. It is like a their usefulness as ministers, greatly constant and successive going forth bencath the level of thatof their dissentamongst them with those lessons ing brethren. But, in addition to all which they never would have sought this, the most precious advantages of after, through all the sacrifices that an establishment have been virtually they else would have had to make, thrown away, and its ministers disarmand all the obstacles that they else ed of more than half their influence, by must have overcome. It is in order a mere point of civic practice and reguto perpetuate the religion of the peo- lation. By what may be called a most ple, keeping up the same aggressive- unfortunate blunder in moral tactics, ness of operation, which first origi- an apparatus that might have borne nated the religion of the people. We with peculiar effect on the hosts of a are aware that itinerancy is an aggres- rapidly degenerating population, bas sive operation, and that dissenters do been sorely thwarted and impeded in itinerate. But we are mistaken if, in the most essential part of the mechathis way, there is more of the gospel nism which belongs to it. Not by brought into contact with the inha- the fault of any, but tlırough the mere bitants of our country, throughout oversight of all, a wide disruption has the space of a year, than is heard on been made between city ministers, every single Sabbath within the pale and the people of their respective loof its two establishments. This is calities; and we should esteem it a not fastening the conteinpt of insig- truly important epoch in the Christian nificance upon dissenters ; for, in economy of towns, were effectual meatruth, the good done by their locomo- sures henceforth taken, to repair grative proceedlings forms, we believe, a dually, and without violence, the misvery humble fraction, indeed, of the chief alluded to. good that emanates from their pulpits, What we complain of is, the mode and is performed through the week, which has obtained hitherto of letting and around the vicinity of their pula the vacant church seats. They are pits, by the ministers who fill them. open to applications from all parts of It is a mere question of moral and the town and neighbourhood, and spiritual tactics, which we are at pre- that, till very lately, without any pre
ference given to the inhabitants of of them. But this is no reason why the parish.
the same thing should have been It is this, which, trifling as it may done with Christianity. It is what appear, has struck with impotency all men need, but what few feel the our church establishment in towns, need of; and, therefore it is, that, and brought it down from the high under our present arrangement in 'vantage ground it might else have oc- towns, there are many thousands who cupied. In this way each church is will never move towards it, but where made to operate, by a mere process of still it is in our power to reclaim and attraction, over an immense field, in- to engage, did we obtrude it upon stead of operating, by a process of e- them. We cannot think of a more manation, on a distinct and manage- effectual device, by which to send a able portion of it. With the excer- reaching and a pervading influence to tion of his civil immunities, and his this sedentary part of our population, civil duties, which last form a heavy than by binding one church, with one deduction from his usefulness, there minister, to one locality. Under the remains nothing to signalise an esta- opposite, and, unfortunately, the acblished over a dissenting minister, tual system, the result, that is now though the capabilities of his office visibly before us, was quite unavoidought to give him the very advan- able. All the activity of dissenters, tage which a local has over å general aided by the established church, Sabbath school. That which, in ar- whose activity and influence have gument, forms the main strength of been, in fact, reduced to that of disour establishment, has, in practice, senters, could not have prevented it. been so utterly disregarded, as, in It is not mere Sabbath preaching that fact, to have brought every city of will retain, or, far less, recal a people our land under a mere system of dis- to the ordinances of Christianity. It senterism. It is not of the powerful is not even this preaching, seconded influence of dissenters that we com- by the most strenuous week-day atplain. It is of the feeble influence of tentions, to hearers lying thinly and their system. It is not that they are confusedly scattered over a wide and become so like unto us, as to have fatiguing territory. With such a bare gained ground upon the establish- and general superintendence as this, ment. It is, that we have become so many are the families that will fall like unto them, as both of us to have out of notice; and there will be the lost ground on the general population. breaking out of many intermediate Locality, in truth, is the secret prin- spaces, in which there must grow and ciple wherein our great strength lieth; gather, every year, a wider alienation and our enemies could not have des from all the habits of a country pavised more effectual means of prevail- rish; and the minister, occupied with ing against us, in order to bind us his extra-parochial congregation, will and to afflict us, than just to dissever be bereft of all his natural influence this principle from our establishment. over a locality which is but nominally Our city rulers, without the mischiev- his. The reciprocal influence of his cus intent, have inflicted upon us the Sabbath and week-day ministrations mischievous operation of Delilah ; and on each other, is entirely lost under since we are asked, why it is that, such an arrangement. The truth is, with all the strength and superiority that, let him move through his parish, which we assign to an establishment, he may not find so much as a hunwe put forth so powerless an arm on dred hearers within its limits, out of the general community-we reply, more than ten times that number who that it is, because, under this opera. attend upon him. And, conversely, tion, our strength has gone from us, however urgent might be the demand and we have become weak, and are in his parish for room in his church, like unto other men.
which, under the existing practice, it It is well enough, that every arti- is not likely to be, he has not that cle of ordinary sale is to be had in room that is already in foreign occustationary shops, for the general and pation, to bestow upon them. A paindiscriminate use of the public at rochial congregation would have, at large ; for all who need such articles, the very outset, throned him in such also feel their need, and have a inov- a moral ascendancy over his district ing force in themselves to go in quest of the town, as the assiduitics of a
whole life will not be able to earn to them. It was thought that a regular for him. But, as the matter stands, evening sermon might be instituted in he is quite on a level, in respect of this chapel, and that for the induceinfluence, with his dissenting bre- ment of a seat-rent so moderate as thren: and the whole machinery of from 6d. to Is. 6d. a-year, to each inan establishment, in respect of its dividual, many who attended no where most powerful and peculiar bearings through the day, might be prevailed upon the people, is virtually dissolved. upon to become the regular attendants On the system of each minister feed- of such a congregation. The sermon ing his church from his parish, he was preached, not by one stated micould not only have crowded his own nister, but by a succession of such place of worship, but stirred up such ministers as could be found; and as an effective demand for more accom- variety is one of the charms of a pubmodation, as might have caused the lic exhibition, this also might have number of churches and the number been thought a favourable circumof people to keep in nearer proportion stance. But besides, there were gento each other. But, under the para- tlemen who introduced the arrangelyzing influence of the present sys- ment to the notice of the people, not tem, it is not to be wondered at, that werely by acting as their informants, the urgency for seats should have but by going round among them with fallen so greatly in the rear of the in- the offer of sittings, and, in order to creasing rate of population ; and that remove every objection on the score the habit of attendance on any place of inability, they were authorised to of religious instruction whatever, offer seats gratuitously to those who should have gone so wofully into de- were unable to pay for them. Had suetude—and that the feeble opera- the experiment succeeded, it would tion of waiting a demand, instead of have been indeed the proudest and stimulating, should be so incompetent most pacific of all victories. But it is to reclaim this habit; and that the greatly easier to make war against the labouring classes in towns, should have physical resistance of a people, than to thus become so generally alienated inake war against the resistance of an from the religious establishment of established moral habit. And, acthe land—and, what is greatly worsecordingly, out of the 1500 seats that than the desertion of establishments, were offered, not above 50 were let or that a fearful majority should be now accepted by those who had before been forming, and likely to increase every total non-attendants on religious woryear, who are not merely away from ship; and then about 150 more were all churches, but so far away, as to let, not, however, to those whom it be beyond the supplernentary opera- was wanted to reclaim, but to those tion of all meeting-houses a majori- who already went to church through ty that is fast thickening upon our the day, and in whom the taste for hands, and who will be sure to return church-going had been already formall the disorders of week-day profliga- ed. And so the matter moved on, cy upon the country, because that heavily and languidly, for some time, country has, in fact, abandoned them till, in six months after the comto the ever-plying incitements and mencement of the scheme, in Septemopportunities of Sabbath profanation. ber 1817, it was finally abandoned. -pp. 104-109.
There were several ingredients of An experiment may often be as in- success, however, wanting to this exstructive by its failure, as by its suc- periment. There was no such reitecess. We have here to record the fate ration of one minister, as would ripen of a most laudable endeavour, made into familiarity or friendship between to recal a people alienated from Chris- him and his hearers. There was no tian ordinances, to the habit of at- reciprocity of operation, between the tendance upon them. The scene of duties of the Sabbath, and the duties this enterprise was Calton and Bridge of the week. The most aggressive ton-two suburb districts of Glasgow part of a minister's influence upon the which lie contiguous to each other, people, lies in his being frequently abearing together, a population of a- mongst them; the recognised indivibove 29,000, and with only one cha- dual, whose presence is looked for at pel of ease for the whole provision their funerals, and who baptizes their which the establishment has rentiered children, and who attends their sick.