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in useful knowledge.' As for the learned authors of the Introduction to the Encyclopædia Britannica, who are here represented as vain and envious detractors from the fame of Bacon, Newton, and Locke, it is perfectly well known to every one who ever looked into that performance, and to all indeed who are worthy to name the names of those great philosophers, that these same Scotish Essayists have made themselves famous all over Europe for their idolatry of Bacon; and are by far the warmest and most devoted admirers of Newton, of any who are acquainted with the great improvements in mathematics which have been made since his death ;-and of Locke they speak with as much veneration as any of his modern disciples. The Letterwriter may by possibility be a lawyer ;-but we are sure that he is . no philosopher; and that all the learned among his countrymen will be inclined to blush for him. We would by no means have him take our word on such a subject; but we refer him to Mr Coppleston, or Mr Davidson, or any other Oxonian of name, for the true character of Dugald Stewart and Playfair, and the Introduction to the Encyclopædia. In the same, or in a still worse spirit, is his paltry sicer at Mr Brougham's most interest ing account of Mr Fellenberg's Establishments at Hofwyl-which he is pleased to term a long anecdote about Switzerland ;'--and then to ask if one village occupied so many co• lumns, what might have been expected from the honourable * gentleman's further prosecution of his travels ?' Now, this cannot be ignorance; for though, we dare say, the Letter-writer knows little enough about tlie poor-laws or the principles of education, he cannot mistake Mr Fellenberg for a common village-schoolmaster, nor fail to be aware of the celebrity, at least, of this institution, of which all Europe rings from side to side,' and in whose proceedings so many of the Continental sovereigns have deigned to interest themselves.
The two learned Wykhamists are, in every point of view, entitled to greater respect. Fancying that their Alma Mater, St Marie Wintoun, was invaded, they have come forth in her defence with pious and natural zeal. In their writings, nothing is discoverable like a wish to bring themselves into notice, or to forward their own advancement by means of the controversy; and they confine themselves to the defence of the points that have been attacked. The Letter of Mr Bowles is peculiarly distinguished by candid and philanthropic views; and he warmly expresses his anxiety for the success of the cause, although the course of the Inquiry has been incidentally directed towards Winchester. The author of the Vindication' has satisfactorily shown, that neither he nor Mr Clarke are borne out in their construc, tion of the statutes; but both their pamphlets have thrown important lights upon the subject,—which it belongs to men of their learning and integrity to handle with advantage.
The • Vindication' is a very able and learned performance. The author has thoroughly examined the whole subject; and after following him carefully through his discussion, we have not found him making any mistake, except in one or two very trivial particulars. The defect of this pamphlet is its great length: The style is clear, and frequently happy and forcible,—though we should hardly presume it to be that of a practised writer; and still less does the printing betoken a practised publisher; for the sentences are often found running into each other, as if the doctrine of stops were unknown. These, however, are minor imperfections: the work is replete with valuable matter, to which, as the reader may perceive, we have in the foregoing pages been ourselves largely indebted; and we earnestly recommend it to the perusal of all who would obtain a thorough knowledge of this important question. It is said to proceed from the pen of a conveyancer, of very rising reputation; and we cannot wish better to the amendment of the law, and above all to the reformation of the practice in Courts of Equity, than to express our hope, that the same learning, acuteness, and liberal views which have thrown so much light on the present Inquiry, may be applied hereafter to other branches of practical jurisprud
But among these authors, the Dean of Westminster makes, we will not say a very ridiculous, but surely not a very reverend' figure. To hate bitterly, and write angrily, have unfortunately not been so rare failings in controversial divines, as the mildness of the creed they profess might have taught us to expect; and the dignity of their cloth has suffered the less from the prevalence of such babits, that they were willingly ascribed to an excess of holy zeal about matters of paramount importance. But a transference of the odium theologicum from those lofty subjects to the disputes of a parish, is of somewhat more equivocal decency in a dignitary of the Church, and may chance to be confounded with common railing, to the great scandal of well disposed persons, who are apt to look for a material difference between a Dean and a Shrew. The coarse and passionate abuse in which he indulges, can only be ascribed to great infirmity of temper, or to a design of making himself acceptable to a party. He himself imputes it, indeed, to the feelings of an injured man, smarting under unmerited attacks. But Mr Brougham to whom his invectives are addressed, never, directly or indirectly, attacked him-never even named or alluded to him; and
where does the reverend author find it written, that when you have a squabble with your parish officers, you shall affect to be attacked by an adversary of the existing administration, in order to gain a pretext for blackening him, and the party with which he is connected, and the cause of which he is the advocate ? And if the violence of his wounded feelings is to be urged as the excuse for his intemperate language, how happens it that those feelings remained calm from the month of August, when the pretended injury was offered, to the Christmas holidays, when Parliament was about to meet, and the appointed season for raising clamours was come? The Doctor discourses, in an affecting manner, of the great value of character. It was long almost • his only possession, and, by the blessing of Providence, has • raised him to affluence and honours.'- In a political sermon, preached and printed in 1907, we find an additional reason assigned for his success. Of the · Leiters of Fabius,' addressed to Mr Pitt in 1801, he says), I no longer scruple to confess ' myself the writer.' It is understood that these are not the Doctor's only anonymous writings.
But that his fair reputation had a share in his promotion, wo are quite willing to admit. Only this we must be allowed to suspect, with the author of the · Vindication,' that having found his character so useful to his own advancement, he was resolved to lend the benefit of it to his friends and his party, by conveniently supposing it to have been attacked, in order to seize the opportunity of making a safe and triumphant defence. This is not a very grave charge, perhaps, against a zealous political partisan; nor should we feel disposed to censure bim very severely, if it should have its reward--if his character should once more conspire with his pamphlet towards his further exaltation in the Hierarchy. These things are among the mysteries ;--for any thing we know they may appertain to the ornamental parts of the system erected among our southern neighbours. But we may be permitted, as members of a more simple and lowly establishment, with all humility to express our doubts, whether any thing can be more seemly in a dignitary of the Christian Church, than the meekness which avoids taking of fence where none was meant, as well as giving offence where none was merited; and the sinplicity of deportment which claims respect from desert, and will only pursue even a laudable object by a plain, straightforward course.
We have now done—for the present at least with this important discussion. The radical question is about the Education of the Poor, the most momentous perhaps of all the questions of internal polity that can occupy the Legislature of an enlightened people. The incidental and accessary question is about the abuse and perversion of Charitable establishments-a matter, no doubt, of less vital and universal concern, though of no ordinary interest, considered either in itself, or in its relation to the other. The obstacles to the first great measure arose chiefly among the bigots, and the ignorant whom they could alarm; and were pretty quickly subdued by fair and public discussion. The obstacles to the other have their root, we fear, in self-interest-a more obstinate and a far more artful foe. But we have unbounded faith in our precious talisman of Publicity; and rest in the most complete and tranquil assurance, that the Inquiry must, and will go on, till every abuse has been exposed, and redressed, and prevented. There is a sense of justice and humanity in the people of this land, and a proud and general disdain of all sordid and fraudulent oppressions, against which no tricking, or activity, or influence, can ever hope to stand; and which, when once roused and directed, no Ministry can encouns ter, and live. The opponents of such an Inquiry as this, therefore, have no hope but in excluding the light, and stifling all investigation in its infancy. But this is now impossible. The veil has been already lifted up, and the secrets of the polluted sanctuary disclosed. Can any man who reads the stern and solemn denunciations of Lord Kenyon and Lord Eldon, or looks at the facts already put in evidence before the Committee, doubt for one instant, that those gross and shameful abuses must be sifted and put down ? or that those who have brought them to light are entitled to the gratitude of all who have any concern for the honour or the happiness of the country? In such a case, to talk about disrespectful notices sent to reverend doctors, or the danger of having Locke supplanted by Dugald Stewart, or our universities turned into almshouses, must appear the most pitiful and ridiculous drivelling, if the practical object of all this zeal and ingenuity, were not deserving of the most serious reprobation. The object, and the avowed object, is to stifle inquiry-not into the state of the Universities, or the text-books in philosophy—but into the embezzlement and perversion of the funds destined by charity for the education and support of the poor, all over the kingdom-to prevent, if possible, the reappointment of a Parliamentary Committee to continue and follow out those inquiries of which the labours of one Session have presented so extraordinary a sample--and to defeat the only possible remedy for those scandalous and corrupt breaches of trust, over which the Judges of the land have been venting groans of impotent indignation for upwards of twenty years, and which, but for Parliamentary interference and Public Reprobation, must continue to stink in our nostrils for centuries to come!
But we need not heat ourselves in a cause that is already won. Dr Ireland may fret, and the Letter-writer may vapour, and Ministers may condole:-But the game is afoot--and the earth cannot hide it from its pursuers. The sense of the country is roused-its bowels are moved in this cause;—and Parliament will not, and cannot withhold the means of doing this safe and necessary justice.
In the mean time, it is consolatory to think, that much is already accomplished; and that an abundant harvest of practical good has already been gathered from the seeds sown by this Inquiry. There is not a parish in the land, we verily believe, where people are not now beginning to look into those abuses, which negligence in many instances, and opportunity and apparent impunity in many others, had engendered. The culpable are reforming, from fear of exposure and punishment; and the indolent and inattentive, from shame ;-while the ignorant are asking for instruction, and the beneficent and active invited to come forward to their protection. Does any man, with the least spark of candour, doubt that this is the fact ?-or that it is a great and inestimable good ?-or that it is wholly owing to that Inquiry against which our Deans and Letter-writers are so eager to discharge the feeble artillery of their spleen-or that it would speedily disappear, if, by such puny hostility, it were conceiveable that such an Inquiry should be stopped ?-We have no fears of such a catastrophe; and are ashamed to have contemplated the very possibility of an event that would cover, not only the Legislature, but the Nation—not only with Disgrace, but with Ridicule.
[Since the preceding pages were printed off--and on the very eve,
indeed, of our Publication- we have received Captain Sabine's Remarks on the Account of Captain Ross's Voyage to Baffin's Bay; and have perused them with the most painful feelings of surprise. That they call for some answer or explanation from Captain Ross, no one, we imagine, can doubt :-—and till the statements of the two gallant Officers are mutually complete, it would obviously be quite improper to say any thing on the points at issue between them. Our only purpose in this Note, is to apprise our readers, that our account of Captain Ross's book was printed off fully three weeks before we had ever seen or heard the least surmise of Captain Sabine's observations.]