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pathies active to the last, and with her beside him without whom he said he could not even feel the sunshine,' he expired the 16th April, 1859, fifty-four years old.

The character which we have here attempted to draw may be regarded with sympathy or indifference, but hardly by any one with repugnance or hostile criticism. To some there may appear a narrowness of perception in the persistency of its ideas, and a poverty of spirit in the uniformity of its designs. To those for whom politics are a chess-board where statesmen move the pieces and prize them as they contribute to the success of the game, this constant impersonation of and care for the aggregate of the people may seem fantastic and unsound; to those who make the Providential governance a pretext for disencumbering their lives from responsibility for the welfare of their fellow-men, this abiding sense of Duty and Freewill will be superfluous and burdensome; to those who enjoy the excitement of public life too keenly to be careful of instruments or of results, this continual balance of motives and delicacy of conscience must appear theoretical and pedantic. But such judgments have their foundation in a discrepancy of moral temperament that no argument can reconcile. What can we say more than that De Tocqueville never doubted the power of certain men to influence the destinies of multitudes, and that therefore he called on them to be great, unselfish, and heroic; that he never ceased to recognise the visible signs of a supernatural direction of the thoughts and feelings of humanity, and that, therefore, he required all Christian rulers and governments to comprehend those mysterious influences and guide them, as best they might, for the advantage of mankind?

To the supposition that he was a collegiate professor of politics, and not a practical worker in public affairs, we can only offer the evidence of his own Speeches and Reports, and the testimony of all who came into contact with him as a legislator or as a minister. There seems no doubt that he carried into his habits of business the same spirit which animates his writings-generalising only when he had mastered all details, and not satisfied with any portions of a subject until he had determined their relations to the whole. As too, in every page he manifests a sense of the difficulty of accommodating absolute truth to the frailty and shortsightedness of mankind, so he was naturally found conciliatory in his transactions with other men until conciliation became falsehood, and content to compromise until compromise became dishonour. Nor can we, as Englishmen, forget that our free institutions were not to him only objects of a barren admiration but a source of moral life and political example, which seemed to him destined to embrace the universe and decide the


uture of humanity. It was in the light of our history that he learnt to understand his own. And if there be in his politica} philosophy something too conclusive as to the designs of Providence, something too dogmatic concerning the infinite possibilities, it is hardly for us to reprove the exaggeration which never disturbed the balance of his judgment or dimmed the lustre of his understanding. It may be that the mighty phantom of Democracy, which possessed his imagination, which saddened the native gaiety of his disposition and made him old before his time, excluded other scenes of thought and fields of reflection— but never did it deaden his sympathies or intimidate his soul; and although at the last he may have looked on himself and the few friends about him as the forlorn hope' of Liberty, it still was hope to him, however it was despair to others :

'That out-post is abandoned: while the one
Lies in the dust, the rest in troops depart;
Unconquered He has done what could be done,
With sword unbroken, and with broken heart.'

ART. IX.-1. Reports of the Committee of the House of Lords appointed to consider the Assessment and Levy of Church-rates. London, 1859-60.

2. Speeches of John Bright, Esq., M.P., on the Second and Third Readings of the Bill for the Abolition of Church-rates. Hansard's Debates. London, 1861.

3. The only Compromise possible in regard to Church-rates. By Lord Ebury. London, 1861.

4. The Designs and Constitution of the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State Patronage and Control. By Archdeacon Hale. London, 1861.


OME three or four years ago, whenever the Nonconformist leaders found it desirable to fan the zeal of their reluctant Whig allies, they were fond of repeating that impatience of the Established Church was the only feeling that kept Liberalism alive among the middle classes of this country. The assertion has not proved quite true in the sense in which it was made. Under existing circumstances, we think that the Whigs have a fair right to complain that they have been deluded into an unprofitable investment of their political reputation. Neither impatience of the Established Church, nor what the Nonconformist leaders mean by Liberalism, is faring among the middle classes just now so prosperously as of old. But the argument showed a

very sound appreciation of the close sympathy that exists between the Established Church and the rest of our institutions. If it is safe to draw a confident inference from the history of the past, an isolated assault upon the Church is an impossibility. It has always been simultaneous with a general advance along the whole revolutionary line. Theoretically, there is no reason why the secular position of the Church of Christ in any country should determine the precise form of its civil polity. But, practically, the spirit which abhors a national Church has been found also to abhor the institutions which give political predominance to the educated classes. The Dissenters are keenly aware of the profound truth of Lord John Russell's words-spoken seven years ago, before a contemplation of the division list had modified his convictions-We have a national Church, we have an hereditary aristocracy, we have an hereditary monarchy, and all these things stand together. My opinion is, too, that they would decay and fall together. I see no reason why we should prefer to these institutions those of the United States of America, and I must, therefore, oppose this Bill [for the abolition of Church Rates], as tending to subvert one of the great institutions of the State.'

It was therefore, in the nature of things, to be expected that the democratic campaign recently undertaken by Mr. Bright would be the signal for a desperate attempt on the part of the Dissenters to carry the outworks of the Established Church by storm. One movement necessarily involved the other. Mr. Bright, no doubt, had good grounds for his boast that the friends of the Church would have been reduced to a mere fraction, if a great reduction of the franchise in boroughs, and a large increase of the power of the great towns, could have been effected. On the other hand, there is no more formidable obstacle than the Established Church to the spirit of rash and theoretic change which we, almost alone among the nations, have escaped. Her atmosphere is poison to the revolutionary growths that flourish so rankly in other lands. The alliance, therefore, between

democrats and Dissenters is an alliance which their common aims naturally suggested; and it must be admitted, by both friends and foes, that the Dissenters have borne their full part in the attack. Though involved in the rout of their allies, and suffering from all the unpopularity those allies had provoked, they have shown a tenacity of purpose and a variety of resource which we cannot but envy while we admire. They have disregarded no single point in the Church's position in which the most sanguine eye could discern a trace of weakness; they have neglected no grievance, however minute, which could help them to raise the faintest echo of a cry. The Marriage Law, the 2N

Vol. 110.-No. 220.


Burial Law, the schools assisted by the State, the schools endowed by individuals, oaths in a court of justice, Church-rates, the prohibition of Church services in theatres, the contents of the Prayer-Book and the enforcement of subscription to it, have all been successively made the objects of attack, either by avowed Dissenters or by those who fight more effectively the Dissenters' battle under the shadow of the Church's flag. There is wisdom in this multiplicity of assaults. It harasses and fatigues their opponents, who, like all troops acting on the defensive, are apt to be made careless by constant alarms. The quantity, moreover, supplies the place of quality in the eyes of superficial observers. Outside spectators are easily induced to conclude that some one, among so many grievances, must, by the mere law of chances, be well-founded; and they cannot help believing that a party which, in the present destitution of political cries, is rich enough to possess at least half-a-dozen, must be both powerful and numerous.

We have no intention of attempting to deal with this enormous pile of controversy. Neither our space nor our readers' patience is sufficient for such an undertaking. We must content ourselves with some reflections on the condition and prospects of the only one of these controversies which practically possesses an intermediate interest. Others of them may in theory affect the Church more vitally; but they do not press for immediate decision. They have been thrust on us by no extensive organization, and command little attention at the hustings. They woo in vain that popular breeze which is to float them over the bar of the House of Lords.' But the Church-rate is a subject which has commanded the liveliest interest both in Parliament and at elections ; and the opposition with which it is met has so wide a range, that it can be indifferent to very few to whom Church matters are interesting at all.

Whatever our hopes of its ultimate issue may be, no one can say that the present condition of the Church-rate question is satisfactory. The law is so anomalous, the proposals for amending it are so conflicting, the conflict has lasted so long, and in the course of its strange vicissitudes has led so many men into thoughtless pledges from which they are reluctant to retreat, that it requires a very hopeful disposition to believe that our generation will see the tangled skein unravelled. In looking back upon the history of the struggle, it is difficult to suppress a feeling of regret that the hazardous necessity of adjusting the anomalies of the law has been reserved for a period so unfavourable as the present. Even during the last thirty years there have been intervals they now read like the record of some pre-historic


age-when the House of Commons and the Government were friendly to the Church. Judging after the event, we cannot but feel that the statesmen of Sir Robert Peel's Government were neglecting an opportunity-which is hardly likely to recur-by turning away, as they did, from this subject altogether. Sir Robert Peel's neglect of it is very perplexing; for he knew the dangers of which it bore the germ, and he had intimated a tolerably distinct opinion on the remedy to be applied. In 1835 he had declared the question to be one so pregnant with the seeds of discord and collision,' that the Government were bound not to leave it unsettled for another year.' In 1837, without entering into a definite pledge, he sketched out the remedy to which his own mind inclined-a transfer of liability from occupiers to owners. When he came into office in 1841, at the head of a majority powerful enough to carry almost anything that he chose to dictate, he was not suffered to forget the speech of 1835; but he flatly refused to undertake the question, and preferred to endure in silence the taunt of having broken in office the promises of opposition. Probably he thought that, according to the proverb, 'it was wiser to let sleeping dogs lie.' The question had been threatening enough under the Whig administrations, and had given to the statesmen of the Reform Bill some trouble in reconciling their lurking tenderness for the Established Church with the importunity of their supporters. But when Sir Robert Peel came into office there was a lull. The position of the Established Church seemed absolutely secure; or if any danger was thought to threaten her, it was from the side of Rome, and not from the side of Geneva. He might have been condemned as needlessly reviving the contentions of the past, if he had attempted to heal the Church-rate grievance at a time when to all appearance it had ceased to irritate.

If such were the motives that induced him to repudiate the opinions expressed in 1835, and to leave the anomaly of the law uncorrected, he was trusting to a treacherous security. The truce was only transient; the enemies of the Church were only waiting till better times should come. When he fell in 1846, and the Free Trade controversy scattered for a time the party he had formed, a dark period for the Church of England set in. She was rent to the base by internal divisions; and her Parliamentary supporters were severed into two hostile camps, divided by feelings far too bitter to allow them to co-operate heartily even in her defence. These schisms, which now we may happily speak of as matters of history, paralyzed her power of resistance. In such a period it was to be expected that the Church-rate agitators would take heart again. They availed themselves of 2 N 2


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