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the French character more than the human character, the empty vanities of the world rather than its true dignities, the fleeting follies of mankind more than their inherent weaknesses or corruptions. Molière himself, great as he was, condescended to become little else than the lord justiciary, under Louis XIV., of the high court of Ridicule.

• But while many of the nobler pursuits of literature were thus abandoned, the learned courtiers of Louis found, in their mental and social allegiance to him, the fullest occasion for exercising and perfecting those qualities which, at the commencement of my last lecture, I enumerated as eminently characteristic of the spirit and intellect of the people of France. Their social disposition and genial nature rendered it easy and delightful to them to reflect in their books, the gaiety, the grace, and the cordiality of the high-born associates with whom they mingled. Their logical acumen detected at a glance, and expelled remorselessly from their writings, whatever would have appeared to that fastidious audience, either vulgar, or exaggerated, or tedious, or obscure. They used the most abstruse deductions of reason, as Cleopatra used her pearls, to add an occasional zest to a royal banquet. Their national eloquence shone forth with unwearied lustre, though, even in the pulpit, they never wholly intermitted the homage so habitually rendered to their princely idol. But, above all, the unmeasured obedience of the French people to whatever was esteemed as a legitimate power among them, was manifested by the authors of their Augustan age by the most indiscriminating loyalty. Because Louis was superstitious and intolerant, not a voice was raised among them in defence of spiritual or of mental freedom. Because he was an absolute king, they breathed not a word on behalf of their national franchises. Because he was himself the state, they passed by the affairs of the commonwealth as though the discussion of them would have been a case of léze majesté against him. Because success in war was his favourite boast, they incessantly laboured in erecting trophies to his military renown. Because he was amorous, they sang of love in strains sometimes impassioned, sometimes artificial, but always in harmony with the sentiments which rumour taught them to ascribe to their king. And because he was the admitted model of universal excellence, the greatest minds which France has ever produced, drew habitually and servilely from that model in many of their greatest works.'--pp. 288–291.

We sometimes complain that the literary character among us participates so iittle in the notice and favour of our own ruling powers. That it is so, however, is a fact to which we owe no small portion of the sound political feeling that has been hereditary in this country. May the day be far distant in which those who hold the Power of the Pen' in England will be found looking with expectancy to the patronage of princes or of ministries in the prosecution of their labours. Nor is it in the nature of such a state of things that it should last. Such an inversion of the noble is unnatural. Even in France it could not be perpetuated. When those who suffered themselves to be interdicted from all free discussion on either politics or religion, had worked the soil left to them until it could yield no more, the time came in which bolder men seized on the neglected fields, and wrought in them, after a fashion, and with results, never to be forgotten! When the reaction came, the glories of priesthood and of monarchy were laid alike in the dust, and amidst deeds the report of which has been as a tingling in the ear of the nations to this hour.

We have passed by many beautiful and instructive passages in these volumes which we had marked for insertion. Much also that it was in our mind to say about the French monarchy under Louis XIV. we must forbear to say. That memorable reign extends from 1643 to 1715. It naturally divides itself into three parts—the years of the king's minority, which were not without embarrassments and inquietude; the interval extending from the majority of the king to the year 1704, which may be described as the era of prosperity and splendour; and the space from 1704 to 1715, which may be described as the disastrous, or, more properly speaking, the retributive portion of that epoch in French history. During the lifetime of that one inonarch in France, the grand struggle between the parliamentarians and the royalists in England originated, and was prosecuted to its close; our ancient constitution gave place to a commonwealth and a protectorate; the House of Stuart was restored to the throne, and a second time expelled ; and our country, amidst all the impediments of war abroad and feud at home, is found pursuing an onward course during the reigns of William and Mary and Queen Anne. Sir James intimates, that he may some day discourse on English history as he has now discoursed on the history of France. We earnestly hope that this purpose inay

be realized—though the last lecture in this series, intituled • The Growth of the French and English Monarchies compared,' is to us the least satisfactory of the whole. A fairly developed view of the history of the two countries in something like comparative lights, would be inestimable. If we have any fear about it, as coming from such a pen, we must be allowed to say, that it is a fear as to the natural influence of such a position as that filled by Sir James Stephen, even on a mind of his order in the discussion of such a theme. The English government is not in relation to the University of Cambridge, what Louis XIV. was to his literati

. But in the former case, as in the latter, there is danger of its being tacitly understood that nothing is to be said in such con




nexions that may not be expected to pass muster as political orthodoxy of the most respectable description. The ignorance and special pleading of Hume have done their work. His influence

Retribution has come. The lie does not last

is of the past. for ever.

We close these pages with a feeling of sincere gratitude to their author; and we can honestly say that we have no memory of having ever read two volumes more rich in material, in taste, or in wisdom.

Art. II.—(1.) Barrett's Pastoral Office. London : 1839.

. (2.) Dixon's Methodism, in its origin, Economy, and Present Position.

1843. (3.) Methodism in America. By Dr. Dixon. 1849. (4.) Minutes of Conference. 1851. (5.) An Essay on the Constitution of Wesleyan Methodism. By Dr.

BEECHAM. 1850. (6.) The Doctrine of the Pastorate. By George Smith, F.A.S. 1851. (7.) Principles of Wesleyan Methodism. By the Rev. James H. Rigg.

1850. (8.) Congregational Independency and Wesleyan Connexionalism con

trasted. By the Rev. James H. Rigg. 1851. (9.) Grindrod's Compendium of the Laws and Regulations of Wes

leyan Methodism. London: Mason.

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"The Independent theory goes upon the assumption, that every

church member is competently intelligent, and humbly pious, 'a 'perfect man in Christ Jesus,' who has his 'senses fully exercised to distinguish good from evil,' right from wrong. Little need,

comparatively, could such a community have of a teacher or pastor at all. A settled minister, a permanent (nominal) head and ruler is, in fact, an incongruity and superfluity, on the pure Independent hypothesis. In an Independent church, the

' minister is not the servant and humble representative of Christ, bound to teach his truth and enforce his laws, whether the

people will hear or whether they will forbear, but he is simply the organ and mouthpiece of the people. How can a minister so • circumstanced respond to the prophet's strain of exhortation in · Ezekiel xxxiii.? How can he, in this degraded and degrading . position, conscientiously, and without fear or favour, discharge his duty to Christ, in ' warning the unruly,' rebuking those who are unsound in the faith,' rejecting the factious or immoral.'-'A corrupt Independent church is almost sure to grow more deeply and deadly corrupt; and in one that is tainted with corruption,

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the leaven of evil is very likely to spread.The republican constitution of those churches calls forth and fosters a turbulent Anti

nomian spirit ; and the factious flatterer of popular vanity, or ' abettor of popular licence, will almost always in the end overcome

the passive resistance and quiet influence of the more peaceable, pious, and soberminded. The system of Independency is alike unfriendly to the piety and fidelity of pastor and flock; the action and reaction are both bad, and bad in many ways: and if the effects are in many instances happily less injurious than might ‘have been expected, it is because in these cases the much vaunted theory of Independency is a dead letter.We conclude, then, that a system (Independency) the necessary tendency of which is to counteract the energies, to limit the scope, to chill the heart, to pinion the arms of Christian charity,—to self-centre all thought and care, to transform every neighbour church, though ' called by the same name, into a rival, that such a system cannot 'be, &c.—The spirit engendered and nourished by Independency ‘is essentially opposed to the missionary spirit. Sectarian narrowness, and low-thoughted selfishness-not catholic and expansive charity—are the natural fruits of the system of Independency:

- Their system (the Independents), we are solemnly convinced, ‘is THE MOST UNSCRIPTURAL FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT IN PROTESTANT CHRISTENDOM.'! The italics in these precious morsels are for the most part our

But whence, it will be asked, can we have derived this series of modest, truthful, and charitable utterances? Has the Bishop of Exeter descended from his throne, and deigned to visit us with the lash of his rhetoric? or has that clean-handed gentleman, Master Gathercole, broken his silence, and given himself to his work again? Neither. We regret to say, it is a Methodist minister who thus writes—not an old one, we are told, but one regarded by the old as entitled to connexional honour and confidence; partly on account of his ability, and specially because of the true Methodist spirit that is found in him. The writer speaks, accordingly, in the manner of one who feels that he has a right to speak, not only on his own behalf, but in behalf of his brethren. Speaking of our own ill-starred brotherhood, the Independents, our authority says: We have ever been peace• able, and would fain continue so. But fellowship with such

spirits it is in vain to hope for. Again and again have we sought .amity, and seemed to find it for a time. But our confidence has * ALWAYS been imposed upon, and our hopes have EVER been deceived. We dare not hastily trust them again. With a few 'noble exceptions, whom we the more love and honour for their rareness, it is the principle of the Independents, when possible,


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* and as far as possible, to embroil, injure, and scatter Wesleyans. We have sought amity-our confidence has always been imposed upon-our hopes have ever been deceived,'—truly, these are somewhat provoking words. The intercourse between Methodists and Independents an intercourse of narrow and selfish calculation on the side of the Independents, and of the most expansíve and generous feeling on the side of Methodism! The marvellous complacency of the man who could insinuate that, is to us quite a curiosity.

We think we may ourselves say, that both from the press, and through other channels, we have ever been disposed to pursue towards our Wesleyan brethren the course dictated by neighbourly and Christian feeling. We are quite sure, also, that this has been the practice of Congregationalists generally. It may be, that where we have been weak our aid has rarely been sought;' but where we have been strong it has been

very commonly solicited, and as commonly rendered. If, as Mr. Rigg assures us, we are to be trusted no more, we may regret such loss of confidence on other grounds, it certainly will not be from considerations at all of a selfish nature.

It is natural, however, that our readers should wish to know what has happened to call forth this crusade of Methodism agairst Congregationalism. The secret of the whole is found in the fact, that the recent defections from Methodism,-defections extending to the loss of more than 60,000 members in one year,--have all been, not indeed to Congregationalism, but certainly in that direction. But are we poor Congregationalists to blame for what has thus happened? Is it a fault of ours if our principles prove to be of such a nature as to commend themselves, in whole or in part, to other minds besides our own? It is said, indeed, that Methodist defection in the direction of Congregationalism has found much sympathy among Congregationalists. But supposing this to be so, is the thing itself so unnatural—so monstrous—as to place such sympathizers in the class of men who have become sinners above all sinners that have a dwelling-place among us? The sympathy expressed has been confined to a portion only of the dissenting press, and that portion not at all subject to denominational control. Not one in twenty of our ministers has taken any public part with the -1 Reform' party among the Methodists, or has expressed any opinion publicly on the controversy now in progress in that body.In a great number of instances the reformers have solicited the use of our chapels without obtaining them. In short, all things

* Congregational Independency and Wesleyan Methodism contrasted. By the Rev. James H. Rigg. Pp. 22, 23, 30, 33, 79.

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