Page images
PDF
EPUB

dainful silence'--and that, consequently, the Premier, with the approval of the entire Cabinet, resolved to get rid of the troublesome colleague. Lord Palmerston, on his part, succeeded simply in criminating his late fellows on the point which constituted, in the eye of the public, his substantial offence-namely, approval of Louis Napoleon's usurpation. He unblushingly confessed that as either the President or the Assembly must give way, he preferred the former should be victorious. "And so, said he, with a triumphant tu quoque, “you, Lord John-and you, Lord Lansdowne—and you, Mr. Labouchere,-all felt and said.' None of the party seemed conscious that such an avowal cast suspicion upon all their life-long zeal for constitutional government, as, at best, irregular and unprincipled sympathy; ready at any moment to give way to supposed political interests. Nor did the Whig leaders content themselves with a silent assent to this soft impeachment. They–Lord John Russell and Earl Grey_emulated the Earl of Derby and the Tory peers in reprobating the tone of the English press towards Louis Napoleon. They did not deny the justice of the almost unanimous verdict of independent journalists upon the Prince-President's acts; but rebuked the writers for intemperate and imprudent language. As if any words could be severer than the simplest descriptives of the events of December !the violation of oaths--perjury; the slaughter on the Boulevards—butchery; the confiscation of propertyrobbery; the delation of all eminent men, and suppression of all free printing-cruel, cowardly tyranny. And as to imprudence_oh that English noblemen and statesmen should whisper of imprudent truthfulness !

The Reform Bill made its appearance on the 9th. It was introduced by Lord John Russell in a speech of remarkable tameness, and created no visible sensation as its features were developed. We may describe it in a single sentence. It proposes neither to shorten the duration of parliaments nor to provide for the purity of election by the ballot; creates no new constituencies, nor disfranchises any, but presents a scheme of electoral amalgamation which the more it is examined the more dissatisfaction it creates; enlarges the franchise to an extent incalculable, not from its vastness, but its complexity and indefiniteness; and lastly, contains one of the clauses of the People's Charter-the 'no property qualification 'clause—and the Jewish Relief bill of several past sessions. It was received by the public either with indifference or a demand for amendments that would destroy its identity, but was threatened with Protectionist opposition to the second reading

The Militia bill was produced on the 16th. It provided for a local enrolment of young men between the ages of twenty and twenty-three, by three yearly instalments, amounting, in all, to 120,000 men. Mr. Cobden and a few other members objected at once to the scheme as unnecessary. Lord Palmerston led a mixed party in desiring a more effective measure. On the 20th, the late Foreign Secretary moved, as an initiatory amendment, to substitute general' for • local' in the title of the bill—which was carried by a majority of eleven (136 to 125). Thereupon, Lord John Russell threw up the bill and his office together. As little material difference could be discerned between the two schemes, Lord John's prompt resignation was taken to be either an expression of affront, or a desire to avoid a more

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

humiliating defeat—which almost certainly awaited him on a motion of censure on Lord Grey's Cape and Kafir policy. Whatever the motive, the resignation was actually made; and within forty-eight hours from the ministerial defeat, the Earl of Derby had received, and accepted, the Queen's commands to form an administration.--A list of the Protectionist Cabinet is before us; but we forbear to criticise its composition, or conjecture its programme. The new men are fairly entitled to trial. If they abstain from attempting to re-enact a corn-law, and are willing to concede anything of parliamentary reform, they may do at least as well as their incapable and uncaring predecessors. One man, at least, in the new Ministry has fairly won his position by admirable talent and tact; and whoever has sympathy with intellect humbling the pride of hereditary aristocracy, may give it to Benjamin Disraeli.

We have only further to notice in our Parliamentary summary that the House of Commons has given a night to Mr. Sharman Crawford's scheme of Irish tenant-right, and permitted him to introduce a bill for the enforcement throughout that distracted country of a custom which has greatly contributed to the prosperity of Ulster.--Another night has been given to the interests of the industrial classes—Mr. Slaney moving for a committee on the legal obstacles to the safe and profitable investment of savings. Mr. Labouchere promised on the part of the late Government a commission on the subject ; and it is much to be hoped that the non-political aspect of the matter will induce the new Administration to fulfil that undertaking.—The annual educational debates have already commenced. The promoters of the Manchester and Salford Local Scheme introduced their bill as a private one, and it nearly slipped unobserved through the stages in which discussion is permissible. A debate was raised, however, by the members for Manchester, on the second reading, and their pleas for delay were acceded to. It is now impossible to say when the motion may be renewed; but it is satisfactory to know that the corporation of Manchester have resolved, by a large majority, to petition against the bill.

Despite the energy and extensive organization of the Protestant Alliance, the religious world is not much agitated by the demand for the disendowment of Maynooth College. Meetings have been held in all our principal towns; and with just so much success as is compatible with the feebleness of compromise and inconsistency. We should judge from the reports we have read that Dissenting ministers must have experienced much discomfort from the speeches to which they have had to listen, without the liberty of putting themselves fairly right. Norwich, we are glad to say, has repeated, on a larger scale, the demonstration made at Derby. At an immense city meeting, an amendment against all religious endowments was carried by an overwhelming majority-although every Dissenting minister supported the simple anti-Maynooth resolution. The British Anti-state-church Association has taken right ground, in a series of timely resolutions; and several imposing meetings have been held by its local committees, while others are in contemplation. We know of nothing better calculated to produce right views and action on this matter than the tract, “The Maynooth Grant: the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.'—We may mention, in this connexion, that the long-controverted Braintree Church-rate Case has

6

reached the House of Lords, the final stage of its wearisome progress; and that Mr. Trelawney, chairman of the select committee on church-rates, has published an “Epitome of the Evidence, the more useful from the Historical Sketch of Church-rates' prefixed.

We deeply regret to see the announcement in a late number of the New York Observer,' of the death of one of the most learned and able scholars of the past half-century-Professor Moses Stuart, of Andover, Massachusetts. He died on Sunday, January 4th, in the seventy-first year of his age. As a commentator on several of the New Testament books, Professor Stuart attained many years ago a high reputation both in this country and in Germany, and we believe that some of his works are used as text books in our colleges. He was born,' says the writer of a brief but interesting biographical sketch in the above-named journal, “in Wilton, Connecticut, on the 26th of March, 1780; and after graduating at Yale in 1799, acted as tutor in that institution for two or three years. He was for some time principal of the Academy at Weston, and afterwards pursued the study of Law, which he abandoned for the gospel ministry. He was settled in 1806 as pastor of the Central Congregational Church in New Haven. He was called to the Professorship of Sacred Literature in Andover Theological Seminary in 1810, and continued thirtyeight years to discharge his duties in that office. No other teacher in our land ever instructed so many pupils in the department of sacred criticism. His writings are voluminous, and some of them highly celebrated. He possessed great acuteness of mind, and an enthusiasm in the pursuit of truth, that gave a point and pungency to his writings, terrible to his opponents, and not always safe to himself. . . . . Long ago, he was familiarly spoken of at Andover and elsewhere as the Rabbi, a title which he never assented to, but which was significant of the estimation in which his great learning was held by those who knew him best. For many years past he has been in feeble health, and a few weeks ago he had a fall, from the effects of which he had not recovered when attacked by the influenza, that terminated his long, honoured, and useful career.'

Less conspicuous as a writer and scholar, but well known and deeply beloved by many of our readers, was the Rev. Christopher Anderson, of Edinburgh, tidings of whose death in that city, on the 18th ult., have just reached us.

Mr. Anderson was principally known to the general public as the author of the Annals of the English Bible'—a work exhibiting great research and industry, and now to be found in almost every public library in the kingdom. In his own sphere, as a Christian pastor, he was highly and devotedly esteemed; and his life has been one of active, honourable, and useful service. Now he resteth' from his labour, and his works do follow him.'

The military despotism of France is becoming what her revolutionary governments have often been accused of being—a disturbance of the public peace. Decrees of domestic tyranny, and threats to neighbouring states, go hand in hand. A law upon the press has been promulgated, which places it absolutely at the mercy of the Government; and Belgium has been terrified into reviving an obsolete statute against her own journalists, as well as suppressing the “Bulletin Français. Despite the disclaimers of the · Moniteur,' it is seriously believed that the Swiss Confederation has been presented with humiliating requirements in reference to refugees and the press. So marked have become the indications of imperial ambition, that even Russia has remonstrated; and it is stated that a note has been subscribed at London by the representatives of all the European powers, declaring that if Belgian independence be violated, they will defend it by arms—England taking the lead by despatching a force to the Scheldt. From America comes confirmed intelligence of growing ardour for alliance with England in defence of European liberty. The question will become, Who are the enemies of European liberty ? and on what ground shall England again interfere in continental politics ? The apprehension of invasion is changing into perplexity between a sense of international obligations and pacific desires. In the words of a little but useful and powerfully-written book,* we would say: 'Let England be quiet, and compassionate and cherish confidence in France; while the blazing ship of despotism, with its felon steersman, shoots down the gulph.'

Intelligence,

EXPULSION OF BRITISH MISSIONARIES FROM HUNGARY, THE recent expulsion of several British missionaries from Hungary, by order of the Austrian Government, has led to an interview on that subject between Earl Granville, last late_Foreign Secretary, and a united deputation from the Protestant Alliance and the Free Church of Scotland. The memorial presented by the deputation contains some interesting details of Protestant missionary operations in Hungary. One of the missions now broken up was established at Pesth by the Church of Scotland in 1841, and conducted by Messrs. Wingate and Smith, who had resided there for ten years past with the full approbation of the Government. Their mission, from the first, having embraced the supply of religious ordinances to the British residents, they have preached regularly every Lord's-day to those residents, numbering at the commencement about 400 souls, though now greatly reduced by causes known to the British Government; but by the recent proceedings of the Austrian Government, this, which was the only divine service in the English language in Hungary, has been suppressed. They have also preached in German to the converts from Judaism, who have, however, formed no new church, but have been received as members of the sanctioned Protestant communities. They have distributed Bibles and other religious books in Hebrew and other languages, but in so doing have adapted their proceedings to all existing laws; and under their care a large school has sprung up, superintended by a Jewish convert, and attended by 350 children, about 300 of whom are Jews, the rest Protestants, and no Roman Catholics. The committee were not so definitely informed of the particulars of the case of the Rev. Mr. Edwards, who, after three years' residence, had been ordered to leave Lemberg, the capital of Gallicia. In reply to the deputation, Earl Granville stated that he had communi. cated with the British Ambassador at Vienna on the subject, and was waiting for his answer.

THE ANTI-MAYNOOTH AGITATION. The agitation for the disendowment of Maynooth College continues. Meetings have been held since our last at Exeter, Southampton, Bristol, Leicester, Edinburgh, Perth, Stroud, Birmingham, Norwich, Íslington, and other important districts. At the majority of these meetings, the Protestant Alliance had precluded the possibility

Louis Napoleon: the Patriot or the Conspirator.' By Truman Slater, Esq. London : Partridge and Oakey.

of any discussion taking place, by issuing notices to the effect, that no amendments would be allowed to be presented. To make up for this restriction, and at the same time to take advantage of the opportunity afforded for an enunciation of the principle that all endowments are equally pernicious, the Islington Committee of the Antistate-church Association convened a separate meeting, where resolutions condemnatory of Maynooth and all other State grants for religious purposes were adopted. The meetings at Edinburgh and Perth were of the same character. At Norwich, where no restriction of debate was announced, Mr. Tillett and Mr. Bunting severally moved and seconded the following amendment to a resolution condemnatory merely of the Maynooth Grant :- That the Maynooth Grant and all other religious endowments given by the State should be withdrawn, and every creed left to stand or fall, according as it may be true or false.' This amendment was carried by a large majority of a large and excited meeting, showing what may be done by vigorous and determined effort. Since this meeting the Protestant Alliance has been quieter.

EDUCATION. An important conference of the friends of Voluntary Education was held at Manchester on the 2nd and 3rd ult., followed by a public meeting in the Free-trade Hall in the evening of the latter day. The attendance was principally from Yorkshire and Lancashire; a deputation from the Congregational Board of Education and the Voluntary School Association being present from London. At the first day's conference, presided over by Mr. Sturge, papers were read by Mr. Richard, on The Origin and Principles of the Voluntary School Association ;' by Mr. Hinton, on 'The Religious Character of our Public Schools ;' and by Mr. Giles, of Sheffield, on. The Social Scheme of Education.' At the second day's sitting, presided over by Mr. Kelsall, Mr. Hinton read a paper on the Manchester and Local Salford Scheme of Education. At both sittings of the conference, animated discussions took place-Mr. Hadfield, Mr. Baines, Mr. Kelsall, Dr. Halley, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Scales, Dr. Ackworih, and others, taking part. The public meeting, at which' several thousand persons were present, was addressed by the Rev. George Smith, Mr. Hinton, Mr. G. W. Alexander, the Rev. B. Parsons, Dr. Ackworth, Dr. Halley, &c. Altogether, this was one of the most successful demonstrations in favour of the Voluntary Principle that has yet taken place.

THE ANTI-STATE-CHURCH ASSOCIATION has convened meetings, since our last, at Derby, Darwen, Blackburn, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Rochdale, Beverley, and other places. Lectures have also been delivered by Mr. Kingsley, at Dewsbury and Hebden Bridge; Mr. Forster, at Market Harborough ; Mr. Burnet, at Kingsland ; and the Secretary, Mr. Williams, at Plaistow and Merton. The monthly metropolitan meeting was held on the 19th, at the City of London Institution, and addressed by Mr. Forster, Mr. Gordon, and Mr. Miall. These will show that the society is not inactive.

MINISTERIAL REMOVALS.

The following calls to church pastorates have been accepted:

BRIDPORT (Congregational church).—The Rev. J. K. Stallybrass, late of Dor. chester.

BRIGG (Congregational church).-The Rev. R. Miles, late of Abbotsford, Canada
East.

CHELTENHAM (Baptist church).- The Rev. J. Smith, late of New Park-street,
London, and Shrewsbury.

CIRENCESTER (Congregational church).—The Rev. J. Stratford, late of Chedworth.
COLYTON (Congregational church).—T'he Rev. J. E. Isaac, late of Wickford.

HALSTEAD. Essex (Congregational church).- The Rev. J. Waite, B.A., late of
Cheshunt College.

KEYWORTH (Congregational church).—The Rev. T. Gough, late of Barrington.

STRATFORD-ON-Avon (Congregational church). — The Rev. J. Ewing, late of
Boston.

SUMMERTON (Congregational church).-Mr. Henry Baker, late of Haekney.
SUNDERLAND (Bethel chapel).- The Rev. E. Bewlay, late of Cirencester.
WARDOUR CHAPEL, Sono.-The Rev. J. E. Ashby, late of Arundel.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »