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dianship, rather than to a body, in in the discussion or conversation, which it is implied that there are some which the Archbishop of Dublin on who might make an evil use of the this occasion invited, were the Bishop opportunity afforded them to do barm. of Salisbury, who supported, and the In a word, we could understand the Bishop of Ossory, who dissented from, reasonableness of praying the House the prayer of the petition. Of the of Lords to adopt a scheme which had speech of the latter learned prelate, been previously formed ;-we could the archbishop has furnished a report understand the reasonableness of pe- from his remembrance of it:titioning the queen, that her majesty would be graciously pleased to devise " The Bishop of Ossory's speech, a system of ecclesiastical government; though inaudible in the gallery, was we confess ourselves incapable of dis
heard by those near him. cerning wisdom in the course which
“ His lordship expressed his hearty the petitioners adopted.
assent to the principle of the petition;
but was averse to its being applied at The Archbishop of Dublin, although
the present time, on account of the exhe p esented the petition to the House
cited state of party feeling now existing of Lords, and in a certain sense advo. in the church, and which he feared might cated its prayer, is by no means to be be aggravated by the assembling of any held responsible for its reasoning. commission, synod, convocation, or other His grace's views, as they appear in body of men for the purpose of either the report of his speech, are perfectly acting as a government for the church, intelligible and consistent. He would or framing any such government." require of the parliament permission, only, for another body to legislate for Having given this report, as con. the church, and he would, probably, taining the substance of Dr. O'Brien's propose an address to the crown, with reply to his speech, and, apparently, 3 view to effect such arrangements as considering it as representing the the circumstances of the times ren- strength of the argument against him, dered necessary :
his grace the archbishop enters upon
ths task of refuting it :“He begged their lordships' indulgence in declaring solemnly that rights “I have heard the same language carried with them duties, and above all from many others; not only from those legislative rights; and if the parliament, who are merely seeking a pretext for which had alone the power of legislating getting rid of the measure, by indefinite for the church, did not consider its in. postponement, but from persons whom tervention on this subject proper, it was I cannot doubt to be sincerely convinced the duty of parliament to permit some of the anomaly, the discredit, and the other body, whose province it should danger of leaving the church virtually legitimately be, to interpose with a re- without any legislative government, and gular and recognised authority for the sincerely desirous of remedying the evil settling of the disputes and dissensions on some favourable occasion which they pow unfortunately prevailing: He al- expect will actually offer. luded, of course, to spiritual matters * Such persons cannot, I think, but alone-matters of doctrine or discipline. perceive, on more attentive reflection,
“ Were he permanently in this coun. that the very same argument would aptry, and in their lordships' house, he ply equally in civil affairs; and yet it should feel it his duty to submit a sub- would be thought ridiculous for any one stantive proposition to their lordships' to say, that though parliaments are a on this momentous subject; either for very beneficial institution, he deprecates an address to her majesty, praying that the assembling of a parliament just now, a commission might issue for inquiry, because there is so much political ex&c., or some other course. But as it citement in the country, and the hostile was, he commended the matter to his
parties are so violently opposed, that it brethren of the English bench, conscious is to be feared there would be a very that if they did not concur with him it stormy session, and that mutual hostí. would be in vain for him to moot the lity would be aggravated rather than question; and that if they did, they allayed ; let us therefore have no seswere, if for no other reason, certainly sion of parliament this year. for that to which he had just alluded, “ No one in the present day would, best fitted to undertake it.'
on such a question, use such arguments.
But it is not unlikely that they occaThe only prelates who took a part sionally had weight with the unhappy
Charles I. and some of his advisers. He “ It is hardly necessary, I suppose," dreaded the probable violence of a par- says his lordship, “to say, that this is Jiamentary session, after having for a very imperfect account of what I at. some time endeavoured to carry on the tempted to urge, in support of my dis. government without parliaments. It is sent from the prayer of the petition. not unlikely that some of his advisers But that is a matter of very little imhoped to avoid the evil by waiting till portance. What is of real importance men's minds should be in a somewhat is, that it is a very imperfect account of calmner state: and if at any time there the objections which actually lie against did appear to be a comparative calm- the measure. And it is only in this a remission of the murmurs, and of the respect that I shall attempt to correct agitation of the public mind, this would it. " I shall make no attempt to give a naturally supply a renewed ground for faithful report of what I said on the hope that the discontents would blow occasion. I should probably not sucover, and the nation submit to the want ceed in the attempt if I made it. I of parliaments. And the result, as we shall merely endeavour to present dis. all know, was that every remedy was tinctly the reasons which were in some deferred till too late, and that the par- shape present to my mind, and which I liament, which ultimately it was neces- attempted to state, against the expesary to summon, overthrew the consti- diency of restoring to the church, at the tution.
present time, the privilege of self“ Certain it is, that in all cases of this
As I endeavour to rekind, we must expect to meet with the state them in this more deliberate way, cry of NOT NOW,' on occasions of the I am sure they will appear in a more most opposite character. When men's orderly form than I was then able to minds are in an excited and unsettled give them, and probably in more fulness state, we are told 'nol now ;' wait for too. This is obviously unavoidable; a period of greater tranquillity: when and I should make no attempt to avoid a lull takes place, and there is as little it if I could. For what I am reaily of discontent and party animosity as one anxious about, is to give something like can ever hope to find, again the cry is, a fair representation of the chief objecnot now ;' why unsettle men's minds? tions to the measure, which is so earWhy not let well alone? Quieta ne nestly pressed for at the present time." movete—it will be time enough to take steps when there is a general and ur. The Bishop of Ossory's main ob. gent cry for it. In short, when the
jections to the projected experiment waters are low, we are told that it is useless trouble and expense to build a
upon the church are these : he thinks bridge; when they are high, that it
it would not prove remedial, that, on is difficult and hazardous to build a
the contrary, it would aggravate and bridge."
confirm the very evils it was expected
to remove or cure, and that it would Before presenting the reader with interrupt a sanative process, of which some observations of the Bishop of his lordship imagines he can discern Ossory on these arguments and ana- unambiguous symptoms, and from logies, we think it right to apprise
which, if not rashly interfered with, him, that our abstinence, in this arti- he anticipates a favourable issue:cle, from all expressions of praise, is intentional and deliberate. When ad
“I need not enlarge upon the divi. versaries of "so high front" contend,
sions which harass, and disgrace, and
weaken our church at the present day. or rather, we should say, when so
No one, unhappily, can be ignorant of high parties are at issue, the reviewer
them. And in fact I presume that, (as is most faithful to his duty when he is
appears by the speeches of the prelates least intrusive of laudatory comments. who supported the petition,) one of the Let us not be supposed, then, insensi- chief reasons for so earnestly desiring ble to the ability displayed on the one the restoration of a self-governing power side or the other, because we express
to the church now, is the hope that it no admiration of it.
would be the means of healing them. I The Bishop of Ossory, while deny.
have said enough to show that I consi
der this as a very delusive hope. My ing that his speech in the House of
opinion on the contrary is, that such a Lords, has been accurately or ade
measure would be likely to exasperate, quately reported, is careful to place
and prolong, if not perpetuate, these the discussion between the archbishop unhappy divisions. And that this is and himself on higher grounds than
pot a vague or random apprehension, those of merely personal altercation : but one which rests upon grounds which
are very intelligible, whether upon examination they will be found sufficient to support it or not, will I hope appear by what follows.
“ Whatever be the constitution of the body to which it is proposed to give such powers, it must, so far, I presume, partake of the nature of convocation, as to be an elective body. Any body that did not represent the church, would be plainly unfit to legislate for it-so plainly indeed that I do not think it ne. cessary to consider any plan of churchgovernment of that nature, if such a plan has been conceived. Now, it can hardly be doubted that the elections by which this governing body, or a very important part of it, was to be formed, would materially affect our unhappy divisions, and be materially affected by them; that they would widen the divi. sions, and the divisions embitter them; that they would, in fact, at once carry our existing differences into every dio. cese, and every archdeaconry, and every rural deanery, and every parish in the kingdom; and in a form, compared with which, the controversial contests to which they at present give occasion, are tranquillity and harmony. In fact, all the evils which attend upon parliamentary elections in heated times, short of absolute personal violence, might be dreaded in such contests. And not the less that the opposing parties were not contending for any objects of worldly honour or emolument. Indeed in the party struggles which convulse the country at a general election in seasons of great political excitement, every one knows how very few comparatively, of those who are most deeply and desperately engaged in them, have any defi. nite hope of personal advancement, or personal advantage of any kind—at least how very few there are who have any hope of such advancement or advantage as could be regarded as at all commensurate with their exertions and their sacrifices, in the cause to which they devote themselves. It is the success of a man's friends—the elevation of those to whom he has attached himself as his leaders—the predominance of his party -the triumph and the influence of his opinions and his principles—which are murh more the object and the reward of the intense interest, and the desperate exertions which are made on such occasions, than gain or ambition. These last are tbe motives of comparatively few, the others embrace and sway the many. Now, it can hardly be doubted that all the former class of motives would be called into action by the contested elections, which must attend upon the only mode of restoring church-go
vernment which we need consider; while a new and most powerful source of interest and excitement would be added, in the infinite importance of the results to be hoped or dreaded from the prevalence of opinions, and the victory of parties, in the present case. The connection of such struggles with religion would no doubt chasten and regulate the ardour of some, and make them watch anxiously and jealously over their own temper and conduct. But with others, and many others, it would only serve to exalt their zeal, and to justify every measure which it prompted-so that it could not be doubted that such contests would be carried on with no less energy, and hardly, if at all, less bitterness, than secular conflicts-enkindling the same passions, and sowing the seeds of the same heart-burnings, and jealousies, and animosities.
This would be a sad state of things while it lasted. But it might well be borne with if it were to end with the elections; and to end in providing the church with a deliberative assembly, from which we might reasonably expect a calm consideration of the various points which divide us, and a fair and impar. tial adjudication upon them. This is the result hoped for by the petitioners. But no such expectation can, in my opinion, be reasonably entertained. Such contests might be expected to terminate, not in providing a calm deliberative body, from which the church might receive the stability and repose which she needs, but in engaging upon a new arena the representatives of exasperated parties, and the advocates of their conflict. ing opinions. These representatives, returned, not to deliberate but to contend, and carrying on their contests on a public stage, would keep throughout the land their constituents, and the large proportion of the laity who would every where range themselves under them, in the same hostile position with respect to each other to which the elections had brought them, And how absolutely incompatible such a position of parties is with any thing like a calm consideration, or a satisfactory settlement of religious differences, I need hardly say."
So much for the dangers attendant on an enterprise such as the archbishop proposes. The hopes cherished by Dr. O'Brien of good to be effected through agencies even now at work, are declared in the following passage :
“But what are we waiting for? it is asked. Is it until divisions, which have
grown up under the present state of to aggravate those evils, and I have things, heal themselves? I have seen,' attempted to give some reasons for this the archbishop says, 'also in a recent opinion, be they sufficient or insufficient. publication a forcible representation of “ And if it be asked, what hope is the discrepancies prevailing in the seve- there that under a state of things which ral dioceses--of the doubts, perplexities, has permitted the rise and growth of and heart-burnings that exist—and of such evils, any relief from them will be the discredit and danger to the church obtained ? I answer that if there were thence resulting, while the conclusion no such hope, that would be no reason drawn was that no commission, assem- for altering the existing state of things bly, synod, or other church-govern- in the way proposed, if, as I apprehend, ment should be appointed; but that the and have attempted to show, the change bishops should be left (as now) to decide is likely to lead to worse evils than any
pro re nata,' each according to his own that we now endure, or under existing judgment, on matters coming under his circumstances can reasonably apprecontrol. In short, that because the ex- hend. If it be wholesome, though homely isting state of things produced great philosophy, which and notorious evils, therefore it should be left unaltered !'- Appendix, pp. 35,
-makes us rather bear those ills we have, 36.
Than fly to others that we know not of;' “I have never seen the publication to which his grace rcfers, and therefore, the prudence of patience under existing though this summary of the argument ills, is still more evident, when we have of it wears the air of a caricature much good reason to fear that the ills to which more than of a fair representation, I we are urged to flee, are worse than cannot of course say that the writer those which we are enduring. may not have given some colour for it " But I do not think that we are thus by his mode of stating his views. But without hope of some alleviation of the of course it can only apply to the form evils of our present condition. The preinto which he has contrived to throw his sent time is one, no doubt, of ardent argument; it does not apply to its sub- conflict to some; and of course, as in stance.
all such cases, the passions which in"The archbishop states that the wri. flame the actual combatants, extend to ter pleads to have the existing state of many who do not share actively in the things left unaltered, because it has struggle. But it is a period of calm produced great and notorious evils.' It thought to very many--a time of invesseems tolerably safe to conjecture that tigation and reflection-out of which, if what he does plead for, at least in sub- it be left uninterrupted, a much greater stance, is, that the existing state of measure of harmony and peace than we things should for the present be left now enjoy, may be expected to arise. unaltered, although it has permitted gross The course of the fierce controversy and notorious evils. This, at least, is which has been, and is still carried on, my plea. It is the one with which the supplies numbers who are not actively archbishop has actually to deal ; and engaged in it, with such materials as however the unskilfulness of some who their own industry and research could sustain it may have supplied him with hardly have provided, for coming to a it in a form in which it seems too absurd sound judgment upon the various points to be seriously treated, it is presumed which are so hotly contested. Among that, whether it be well-grounded or those who are thus seriously, and it may not, it is in itself neither inconsequent be hoped prayerfully, reviewing these nor ridiculous. It may be rash to de. questions, are many who exercise an cide whether, if the convocation had influence upon others-many especially always continued to exercise its powers, who exercise the influence which belongs such evils would have been prevented to the ministerial character- the im. from arising in the church; but it is very portance of whose opinions extends far plain that that is an entirely different beyond themselves. And without enterquestion from the practical one with ing inconveniently into a consideration which we have now to deal-namely, of existing differences, it may be said, will the evils which have grown up that there are not a few reasons for during the suspension of the powers of hoping that the great mass of the mithis body, be removed or mitigated by nisters and the members of the church reviving these powers—whether by con- are at this moment in a fair way of set. vening the convocation, or an elective tling in a sound and moderate view of body of the same functions, but differing them, if they be suffered to go on form. from it in some respects in constitution? ing their judgments in the way in which I have already said that my apprehen- this process is at present going on. sion is that the result would be greatly And that we may hope to arrive gradu.
ally and quietly, not at a state of perfect unanimity and perfect peace, but at a much more united and tranquil state than wc at present enjoy : such a state as would make it safe and advanta. geous to restore to the church her synod (with whatever modifications of its constitution may appear expedient)—the office of which seems to be much more to give stability to such a state of harmony, than to bring it about out of such a state of division as at present unhappily exists.
“ Such harmony can never be brought about by debates, and votes, and enactments. It must be the result of sober and sincere convictions, formed by more tranquil investigation and thought than the contests of rival parties in a public assembly allow; by such a process in fact as I believe to be going on at this moment in the minds of honest and thinking men throughout the empire. My desire is to leave this process for a time to its natural course. But with the commencement of such contests as the restoration of her synodical func. tions to the church would at once necessarily give rise to, all calm inquiry must come to an end. Men must in such a case support the side with which they at the time agree most, if they would not see the one to which they are opposed, however moderately, prevail and rule. And when they are once engaged in such a conflict, how hard-how impossible indeed, speaking generally-it is, to maintain the seriousness, sobriety, and moderation which are essential to coming to a sound judgment upon the points in dispute, needs scarcely be said. Indeed, thenceforth the means of forming opinions would not be the object for which men would seek, but the means of asserting and defending them. And I need not repeat what I have before said of my apprehensions that such warfare could not be carried on in this new form without grievously, if not ir. reparably, widening and exasperating our wide and angry divisions."
Such are the hopes of the Bishop of Ossory, and such his apprehensions ; his observations on the analogies which appear as arguments in the pamphlet of his metropolitan, are conceived and expressed in a similar spirit. They appear to him incomplete and inapplicable. On the analogy of which par. liament furnishes the subject, the bishop observes:
• The analogy on which this mixture of raillery aid argument relies, is a very tempting one. It is a great fa
vourite with his grace, and it is not sur. prising that he builds somewhat more on it than he is able to sustain. That he does so, I think is very certain, and I should hope that it cannot be very difficult to make it apparent. Looking only in a general way at the church and the state, and their respective legislatures, it might, no doubt, seem that we had an analogy sufficiently exact to warrat any such inference as the archbishop draws; and that when we find any go neral principle, established by experience with respect to parliament and the state, we may without further examination assume it of the church and convo. cation. But when one considers the ease a little more narrowly, he will see that this is proceeding too rapidly; and that we ought to require in every instance some better reason to warrant such a transfer. And as I cannot but apprehend, that what I must take the liberty of saying has much misled the Archa bishop of Dublin, may have the effect of misleading many others, I shall endeavour to show, as briefly as I can, where the fallacy of his application of this analogy lies.
“ If at any time, any one were to deprecate the assembling of a parliament just now, because there is so much political excitement in the country, &c., there is no doubt that, as the Archbishop of Dublin says, “it would be thought ridi. culous.' And moreover, which is not exactly the same thing, and is more im. portant-there is little doubt that it would really be ridiculous. And I have as little doubt that there are many who will agree with his grace in thinking, that therefore it is ridiculous to deprecate the assembling of convocation just now, on the ground of the religious ex citement which prevails in the country. But this, as I said, is going on much too fast. It is true that parliament bears to the state the same relation that convocation does to the church, so far as this, that parliament is the state-legislature, and convocation the church-legis. Jature. But a great deal more is necessary to warrant such an inference as the archbishop proposes to make. Such a general agreement is perfectly compatible with very important differences and differences in the very points in which these legislative bodies must be assumed to agree, in order to render the inference a valid one. And in fact such differences do actually exist. The two bodies differ so widely both in their general nature and in their actual circumstances, as to make the inference wholly unwarrantable,
" And to begin with their circumstances. In considering the question, it