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Observe, moreover, the effect of the creation of two such offices. To fill them adequately, and to carry on the whole supreme appellate jurisdiction of the United Kingdom with authority, you require not men just superannuated at the close of a laborious life, but judges in the vigour of their faculties. These men, therefore the ablest men you can find—will be transferred to the House of Lords, by withdrawing them from the scene of their greatest utility, and confining them to the comparative inactivity of a Court of Appeal. That inactivity alone is generally fatal to judicial eminence, though unquestionably one of the first judicial minds of our time-we mean that of Mr. Pemberton Leigh-may be quoted as a rare example of legal power undiminished by a life of retirement. But, generally speaking, judges of appeal ought to retain their connexion with some of the Courts of inferior jurisdiction; and to remove them from those Courts is to injure both the administration of justice and the individual.
Lastly, we see no advantage in adding two legal peers to the House of Lords, for many obvious reasons, but more especially for this on all questions affecting the reform of the law, they will, when combined with the Chancellor of the day, exercise a preponderating power over the legislative deliberations of the House, and when in opposition to him they will offer a most formidable impediment to the policy of the Government. To express the same idea in other terms, the Chancellor multiplied by three would be too strong divided by two he would be too weak.
We know not what will be the fate of the Bill which has passed the House of Lords, and is now before the House of Commons, based on the recommendations of the Lords' Committee for the Amendment of the Appellate Jurisdiction. It is possible that peculiar political combinations may succeed in obtaining the sanction of the Legislature to this expedient, which Lord Derby has taken under his especial protection as a pis aller, intended to terminate the controversy on Lord Wensleydale's life peerage, but the measure is that of Lord Derby and the Peers' Committee, and it is repudiated by the great majority of the Liberal Party. We protest against the supposition that this measure can be regarded as a final and permanent settlement of this great question, and we confidently assert that this Bill is regarded with dissatisfaction and distrust
acted little more than one-third consists of English and Irish causes; two-thirds are Scotch cases, for which no especial provision is made by the Bill now before Parliament.
by almost every high judicial and legal authority in the country. The efficiency of the highest Court of Appeal in the United Kingdom is a matter of universal and paramount concern, for to that Court every Englishman must look in the last resort for the protection of his property and his rights. By no departure from the ancient principles and constitution of the House of Lords, but by the simple adoption of a plan analogous to that recommended by Sir Matthew Hale, nearly two hundred years ago, a Court of Appeal of the highest authority, and extremely similar to that which works admirably at the Privy Council for the other possessions of the Empire, might be framed without expense and without inconvenience. Such a Court would combine the judicial strength of the whole Bench; it would exercise its authority undisturbed by political contentions and changes; and it would add nothing to the cost of the present judicial establishment of the country. But if this resource be rejected, and a further attempt be made by the House of Lords to exercise the appellate jurisdiction with the mere assistance of one or two Judges who have retired from the bench, it is not difficult to foresee that the days of that jurisdiction are numbered, and that the judicial business of the House will be transferred to the Privy Council, whose reputation has risen as rapidly as that of the House of Peers has declined.
ART. IX. 1. Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical. By the Rev. W. A. BUTLER, M.A. First Series and Second Series. Edited, with a Memoir of the Author's Life, by the Rev. T. WOODWARD, M.A. 8vo. Cambridge: 1855.
2. Letters on Romanism in reply to Mr. Newman's Essay on 'Development. By the Rev. W. A. BUTLER, M.A. 8vo. Edited by the Rev. T. WOODWARD, M. A.
3. Lectures on the History of Ancient Philosophy. By the Rev.. W. A. BUTLER, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Dublin. Edited by W. H. THOMPSON, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge. 2 vols. 8vo. Cambridge: 1856.
We know not when we have been more struck with the pro
verbial barrenness of incident characteristic of the lives of literary and philosophic men, than in perusing the memoir of William Archer Butler, prefixed to these volumes. Here is a man of glowing genius, of diversified accomplishments, who, though he died comparatively young, adorned, for ten
years, the Moral Philosophy chair in the University of Dublin, prelected there with great and deserved applause to throngs of admiring pupils, achieved a first-rate reputation as a preacher, distinguished himself as a controversialist, was renowned, it is said, for his wit and humour' and racy powers of conversation, was the delight of a large circle of friends and acquaintance, and, lastly, whose remains fill these five brilliant volumes; and yet his Memoir' extends to but thirty-six pages, and the greater part of these is composed of specimens from his early poetry, fragments of juvenile orations, and tributes of admiration or remarks on his character from private friends and public critics! Yet this Memoir,' meagre as are its facts, evinces no want of skill in the writer, and certainly anything rather than lack of interest in his subject; on the contrary, its very faults are the venial ones of excessive admiration, of too fervid eulogy;-those hyperboles of a love intensified and hallowed by the grave*, which it requires more austere critics than we profess to be, to visit with morose censure. This dearth of incident in the Memoir' is owing to lack of incident in the Life it records; and if so, that life is soon told. It may be compressed, without any extraordinary condensation, into little more than a couple of these pages. We may as well, therefore, give this biography entire, it will but little exceed the dimensions of some prolix epitaphs.
William Archer Butler was born at Annerville, near Clonmel; his father was a Protestant, his mother a Roman Catholic; in what year born, is not known, but probably in 1814; if so, he died at four and thirty. He was, by his mother's wish, educated in the Romish faith. While yet a child, however, he seems to have had misgivings, whether Romanism and Truth, Protestantism and Error necessarily meant the same; misgivings (it is said) strengthened by the want of sympathy his confessor manifested with his strong and early developed religious sensi
Part of his childhood was spent at Garnavilla, a village on the banks of the Suir, near Cahir; and that beautiful scenery
* We allude to such expressions as the following: 'He almost 'lisped in rhyme, and some of his boyish compositions would do honour " " While still a 'to the maturest efforts of the British Muse. 'schoolboy, he had penetrated deep into the profundities of meta'physics, his most loved pursuit, and was accomplished in the whole 'circle of the belles lettres. His taste for oratory was fostered by the 'annual exhibitions for which Dr. Bell's Seminary was so famous; 'some of his youthful efforts are still remembered as masterpieces of 'public speaking.' (Memoir, pp. 3. 5.)
made an impression on his susceptible imagination never to be obliterated. There he learned to love Nature, and that love, as usual with such temperaments, broke into spontaneous song. At nine years of age he was sent to the endowed school at Clonmel. Here he distinguished himself, less by an emulous. prosecution of the ordinary routine of study, than by the general indications of an intellect at once powerful and versatile: his reading accordingly was unusually wide and various for his years. In leisure moments he addicted himself with equal ardour to the twin arts of poetry and music, and in the latter is said to have become ' exquisitely skilled.'
How long he continued at Clonmel is not stated; nor in what year he entered on college life. But it seems, that about two years before that time, he renounced Romanism, and became an ardent Protestant. Unlike so many other proselytes from a traditional faith, he never afterwards wavered, nor exhibited any phases either of fanaticism or scepticism. He at once embraced, with intimate conviction and passionate love, those cardinal principles which are the glory of Protestantism only because they are the glory of the Gospel. The polestar of his theology was the same as Luther's, and thither his faith ever pointed true.
At college he seems to have instantly attracted the attention of his fellow-students and his Professors as a man of the highest promise. True to his early tastes, however, he abandoned himself chiefly to poetry, the belles lettres, and metaphysics. The classics he read with the eye of a poet rather than with that of a critic; for the mathematics he never evinced much inclination. So early developed were the propensity and the aptitude for composition, that while yet an undergraduate, he became a frequent contributor, both of prose and verse, to periodical literature; while his college exercises, for their vigour of thought and beauty of expression, inspired the brightest hopes. He also became an active member of the College Historical Society,' and in the year 1835 (he was then about twenty!) he occupied its chair as boypresident. On that occasion he delivered an Address,' from which a long extract is given in the Memoir,' and which must certainly have been a very remarkable effort for one so young. In 1834, young Butler attained, with great distinction, the 'Ethical Moderatorship' recently instituted by Provost Lloyd. After taking his Bachelor's degree, he continued in residence at college two years. He was then advised to turn his attention to the Bar; but his literary tastes and contemplative habits alike recoiled from the dusty arena and incessant turmoil of the
law courts, and he soon resolved to devote himself to the more congenial pursuits and duties of the Church.
At the expiration of his scholarship, Provost Lloyd was anxious to secure the brilliant services of Butler for the University, and succeeded in doing so. By the exertions of this excellent and public-spirited man, a professorship of Moral Philosophy was founded in 1837, and Butler was appointed to be the first occupant of the Chair. The popularity of his lectures proved how judicious was the choice. Simultaneously with his assumption of his professorship, he was presented by the Board of Trinity College to the prebend of Clondehorka, diocese of Raphoe, county of Donegal. Here he constantly resided except when the duties of his Chair called him to Dublin. A more pleasing picture than that of this brilliant mind devoting itself to the humble duties of a parish priest cannot well be conceived.
'Amongst a large and humble flock,' says his biographer, 'of nearly two thousand members of the Church, he was the most indefatigable of pastors. In the pulpit he accommodated himself, with admirable success, to their simple comprehension. He imagined that the interest of his rural auditors was more engaged by an unwritten address, and, unfortunately, he soon ceased to write any sermons. His exquisite skill in music was brought down to the instruction of a village choir. Never was there more fully realised in any one that union of contemplation and action, of which Lord Bacon speaks as the perfection of human nature. His loftiest speculations in mental science, his erudite researches into Grecian and German philosophy, were in a moment cheerfully laid aside at every call of suffering and of sorrow. His parishioners were widely scattered over an extensive district along the shore of the Atlantic, interspersed with bogs and mountain. Many of their residences were difficult of access even upon foot; but they were all visited with constant assiduity. Amongst the papers left behind him were found catalogues containing, not merely the names of each individual, but comments, often copious, upon their characters and circumstances, that he might reflect at leisure upon their peculiar wants, and supply consolation, instruction, or reproof according to their several necessities.' (Memoir, pp. 17, 18.)
Such devotion to obscure duties constitutes at least as strong a claim to our admiration as the most applauded intellectual achievements. The prebend of Clondehorka was held along with his Chair till 1842, when he was promoted to the Rectory of Raymoghy in the same diocese. It was shortly after this, that being called to preach at a visitation of the united dioceses of Raphoe and Derry, he delivered his discourse (afterwards published), entitled 'Primitive Church Principles not inconsistent