Page images
PDF
EPUB

question. Upon a close examination of the work alluded to, I have thought it right to suppress my reference to it on account of the controversial bitterness with which it is disfigured”!!! Who could have thought that such a valiant CHARGE would have ended in this inglorious flight, and that a renowned Prelate would thus have scampered out of the field of battle after the heroic display of his first onset ? “I protest by them that fell at Marathon" this is worse than a Persian overthrow. And behold the results ! those monsters, those ruffians, those brigands, the Dissenters, have already erected a trophy to our durable disgrace, and even the person Binney has been enabled to triumph over us with a most afflicting

Thus
says
that

person : “When any man recommends’ a book with which most other men are disgusted, the following alternative and train of reflection instantly present themselves to a thoughtful observer: 'He either read this book or he did not; if he did, it is a question of taste ; if he did not, it is one of integrity. The first in a Christian would be disgrace; the second in a gentleman dishonour.” This I think would be as natural as it is just. If, however, it were to be supposed that the latter was the case of a Christian Prelate writing to his clergy, and writing for the public, there are perhaps

scorn.

a

was

no words in any language that could express either the feelings of an honourable mind towards such delinquency, or the extent and magnitude of the delinquency itself. So strongly do I perceive this, that when I have heard it stated, by way of apology (as I have often) that his Lordship could not have read the book in question, but had been misled by depending on the opinion, and taking the word, of some injudicious friend, I have always expressed my hope that such

not the case, as it would certainly be rather an aggravation than an apology. What! books to be “recommended” from the Episcopal bench-a character of them, and a description of their contents deliberately penned and sent forth to the public as a Bishop's personal judgment which books he had not personally read! The thing is too monstrous to be thought of, or to be admitted for a moment as within the compass of possibility. No! times of controversy may warp the judgment and destroy the taste for a while even of a Christian; but surely this should never be attempted to be palliated by what would be a violation of principle itself. I have always thought, therefore, that it ought to be admitted by all, whether the personal friends and apologists, or the ecclesiastical adversaries, of the Bishop of London, that he could not but have read the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

book of which he gave an account, and to which he attached his open and voluntary “ I RECOMMEND,” from the very circumstance of what would be involved in his conduct if he had not.

But I beg to ask, if any man, who had seen nothing but his Lordship's “note,” would ever dream that what he twice gently terms a referenceto a publication was actually a distinct and emphatic RECOMMENDATION of it, with a statement of the reasons of that recommendation ? “A publication which I recommend as containing a great deal of useful information,” &c., is thus to be suppressed-softly put out of the way as a reference, a sort of passing allusion, that may be made one moment and forgotten the next.” [Dissent not Schism, a Discourse delivered in the Poultry Chapel, by T. Binney, Dec. 12, 1834.]

In conclusion, the Editor of this volume has to complain of the treatment which L. S. E. has received in various high places; for, besides the Bishop of London's " recommendation,made by

“ that learned Prelate a synonyme with “reference” --the Editor of the British Magazine has also vacillated in his opinions on the merit of this valuable collection of letters. The January Number of the British Magazine abused Mr. Gathercole (not the true Gathercoal), in very plain language, for his violence and“ rampant stolidity,"

and said some very coarse and unhandsome things of his clerical coadjutors. The Number for March (XXXIX, p. 320) has, however, tried to make amends for its previous rudeness in these soothing words : “Mr. G. will, if he will control his expressions, be able to render signAL SERVICE to the Church.” This is as it should be ; and it is to be hoped that the Bishop of London will, in a third edition of his Charge, return to his RECOMMENDATIONS, and explain away his RE

FERENCES.

Editor.

POSTHUMOUS LETTERS,

8c.

LETTER I.

The Rererend RABSHAKEH GATHERCOAL,

to L. S. E. MY DEAR BROTHER,

I HAVE this day taken possession of the Vicarage of Tuddington, where I hope to be of eminent service to that apostolical Church of which I am an unworthy Priest. You desire to know all the particulars of my new pastoral charge. First then touching the fleece, which I hold to be a very essential part of the true Church of Christ according to apostolical tradition. The living I find for the last seven years produced about 4501. to the last Vicar; but Mr. Screw, a very pious attorney of this place, assures me that I may easily make 6001. per annum by compelling all the small gardeners, who are very numerous, to pay their dues without allowing any deduction. The late Vicar, a man of loose princi

B

« PreviousContinue »