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to no one; without it, neither truth can prosper nor mankind be happy. Restrictions of every kind are evils in themselves; and therefore should never be imposed but with the view of preventing still greater evils. Whether the restrictive laws which are now in force are still necessary to prevent the evils against which they were intended to guard, is a question which we readily submit to the judgment of the legislature. Without delivering an opinion either on the wisdom or the expediency of weakening the fences which our ancestors placed to protect the Established Church, we shall only notice the fact, that various causes are now operating which tend to remove them altogether. But if the religion which is established by law should be reduced, in respect to qualification for power, to a state of equality with those which are not so established, or if (in other words) while the honours and emoluments, set apart for the ministers of religion, are granted by the laws of this country exclusively to one religious party, the making and the administering of the laws should be conferred indiscriminately on all religious parties, we must be prepared for such an alteration in the laws, as will communicate at least a share of those honours and emoluments to the persons from whom they are now withholden. When all parties shall equally possess the power of the state, it will be difficult for one party to retain exclusively the profits of the church. We do not now inquire what might finally result from an order of things so novel in this country: but contemplating its possibility from present appearances, we submit the serious consideration of it to all those who are attached to the religion which is now established, not merely for the sake of temporal advantages, but from a conviction of its intrinsic worth. Even if this religion should be deprived of the influence which attaches to the enjoyment of political power, it will be no less the duty of every sincere believer to remain faithful to its cause; and the interest of its faithful adherents must assuredly excite them to additional exertions in proportion as the legal securities which they have hitherto enjoyed are wearing away. Whether these exertions are directed to the preservation of the present securities, or, in the event of their being surrendered, to the means of obtaining new support; whether the religion which is now established is destined to retain its present pre-eminence, to be rendered equal or inferior to others in power and emolument; there is only one line of conduct now prescribed by duty and interest to those who are anxious that the religion of their fathers should descend to their children.
From the preceding reflections we may derive very powerful arguments, in addition to those which were previously zealous support of that society which has been the present article. It is a rallying point for all the
stated, for our subject of the friends of the establishment
establishment throughout the kingdom. The Prince Regent, who represents, and is destined to become himself the head of the Established Church, is the declared patron of the society: the constituted guardians of the Established Church, the arclibishops and bishops of both provinces, preside over and direct it. But it is not a mere clerical society, as its adversaries assert; five princes of the blood are at the head of its benefactors, ten temporal peers or privy councillors are numbered among its vice-presidents, and one half of the committee consists of laymen. A society thus calculated to diffuse the most extensive benefits throughout the kingdom should be liberally aided by every man who is at all con- . cerned for the preservation of the established religion. We are indeed aware that the present demands on the bounty of the public are urgent beyond example; that in proportion as religious zeal is drawn into one channel there will be less to flow into another; and we fear that, when the National Society was first rising into notice, the contributions to it were checked by the additional activity then given to the operations of a different institution. We are likewise aware, and relate it with exultation, that affiliated societies, on the same plan with the National Society in London, have been already formed in various counties of this kingdom, and that others are now forming for the same laudable purpose, whence we must expect that numerous contributions, which would otherwise have gone to the general fund, will be reserved for the respective counties. And if the object of the National Society is but obtained, it is immaterial where the contributions are deposited. We hope, therefore, that every county in the kingdom will soon have an affiliated society in union with the National Society. The wants of the poor in our immediate neighbourhood demand our primary attention; and as we are best acquainted with their wants, we are best able to judge in what manner they should be supplied. But there is a point of view from which, if we examine the National Society, we shall perceive the absolute necessity of supporting it at the same time with the provincial societies. A number of detached bodies, though founded on the same principle, and having the same object in view, can never produce the same effect as if they acted in concert; the aggregate amount of single efforts can never equal what arises from an union of strength; it is the skilful combination of forces under one head which leads to a successful issue. In this respect a continued support of the National Society is absolutely necessary in order to give full effect to the provincial societies. In one sense, indeed, it may be regarded like the others as a mere local institution; in establishing a school or schools in the metropolis it does only what provincial societies perform in their respective towns; and so far it may be considered
as entitled rather to partial than to general support, entitled to the contributions of the affluent in the metropolis like provincial societies in their respective districts. But this local employment of the National Society is neither the only nor even the chief part of its functions. The grand, the important office of the society, without which it could have no pretensions to its present title, is to correspond and to co-operate with its affiliated institutions throughout the kingdom; to hold them together in a bond of general union; to promote uniformity both of principle and of conduct; to provide them with masters from the central institution; and to furnish pecuniary assistance as far as its means will permit. And as this important office of the society cannot be executed without a mutual desire of co-operation, we hope that the conductors of every society and of every school throughout the kingdom, established on the same principles, will keep constantly in view the necessity of union with the parent institution; for if this union be disregarded, a society intended for the benefit of the nation will be reduced in its operations to a single district; and the provincial societies and schools will be left without connection and without a head to concentrate and direct their future exertions. Considering, then, the importance of the high office which the National Society is destined to perform, we most earnestly request the affluent throughout the kingdom, who are still attached to the established religion, to consider the consequences of suffering such an institution to droop for want of pecuniary support. Churchmen in general should consider that it is both their duty and their interest to make the established religion the object of their primary care; and that it is consistent with neither, while they are pursuing plans for the benefit of the universal church, to forget the necessities of their own. Since, therefore, the cause of the National Society is the cause of the established religion, our bishops could not select a more suitable subject for a charge, nor our parochial clergy for an occasional sermon. If to recommend reading, writing, and arithmetic, (the promotion of which is one object of the National Society,) is not the peculiar province of the clergy, it is certainly their peculiar province to attend to the established religion, and to make provision for its union with those useful arts in the education of the poor.
On this account we still hope that the Corporation of London will be induced to contribute, and contribute fiberally, to this society, especially as a considerable proportion of the thousand children, which are educated in the central school, must necessarily, from the situation of that school, be resident within the liberty of the city.
ART. II. A Brief Inquiry into the Causes of premature Decay in our Wooden Bulwarks, with an Examination of the Means best calculated to prolong their Duration. By Richard Pering, Esq. of his Majesty's Yard at Plymouth Dock. 1812. Observations on the Expediency of Ship-building at Bombay for the Service of his Majesty and of the East India Company. By William Taylor Money, Esq. late Superintendant of the Marine at Bombay. 1811.
THE interests of the British navy are closely entwined round the heart of every lover of his country, and not without reason; for in this invincible arm of his strength he sees the bulwark of his independence, his prosperity, and his glory. In the whole history of its transcendant exploits, brilliant as they always have been, never was its career more eminently distinguished by a rapid succession of victories than in the present war; never were its services more important and indispensable than when nothing was left for it to conquer-when it had driven from the ocean every ship of every foe, and rode triumphant and alone. At that moment Europe seemed to be irretrievably lost, when a British army, transported under the protection of British ships of war, was destined to arrest the march of tyranny, and stop the progress of desolation. Discussions on naval concerns are not therefore merely interesting as matters of amusement and speculation: to us, as Englishmen, they are of vital importance; nor can they be indifferent to the world at large.
The two pamphlets before us are calculated to excite the most painful sensations. The discouraging view, taken by the one, of the alarming diminution of oak timber of native growth, and by the. other, of the premature decay of our ships of war, is, however, somewhat relieved by the confidence with which the writers of both speak of the remedies for the respective diseases which they describe. We may also derive some satisfaction from the persuasion that, like most professors of the healing art, they have exaggerated the danger of the symptoms, in order to enhance the value of the cure. This is, at least, worth ascertaining; and we shall therefore enter pretty fully into the examination of the two cases, with the modes of treatment; giving the preference to that stated by Mr. Pering, as it is the more complicated in its symptoms, and the effect of the remedy which he proposes is somewhat more equivocal.
Richard Pering, Esq. of his Majesty's Yard at Plymouth Dock,' is not, it seems, a professional man, nor in any shape concerned with ship-building. He is any thing but a learned man,
and has no pretensions whatever to abstract science. But he has been nearly thirty years, he tells us, in his Majesty's service, and is one of the longest standing, as a principal officer, (clerk of the cheque, we believe,) of any in the dock-yards. He has, therefore, seen ships of war, and it is sufficiently obvious that he has looked at them too, with the eyes of one who knows something about their construction. He tells us, indeed, that he has considered the subject long and attentively; that it has been his study and delight; and on these grounds he presumes to consider his opinions as entitled to some weight. We have no objection to listen to the opinions of a man on any particular branch of the arts, because he happens not to be an artist; he is likely at least to possess one advantage-that of being free from technical prejudices; from such we fully absolve Mr. Pering.
The general result of Mr. Pering's observations on ships and ship-building is stated to be a thorough conviction that many and most essential improvements may be adopted, not only in the models of our ships, but in their preservation. Of the two subjects, the latter is, beyond all comparison, the most important. It has never, we confess, given us much uneasiness to hear encomiums on the beautiful curves and lines of the bottom of a French ship of war; nor are we jealous of the superior science which has produced them; being fully persuaded that, in all the essential qualities-in stability, stowage, and berthing the men, our ships of war are invariably preferable; while it is by no means a settled point, that French ships generally outsail ours.
If the theory of naval architecture has been carried farther by the French than by us, we have at least the advantage in point of practice; if they have more science, we have more solidity; if they have more skill in drawing the lines, we have better workmanship in putting the materials together-though, if Mr. Pering be correct, our shipwrights are still miserably deficient, even in that part of their profession. In France, it must be observed, the science of ship-building has invariably been kept separate from the art: the builder there has no science; he merely follows the plan, which he can neither draw nor describe; whereas, with us, the men who handle the adze, furnish the designs, and are consequently far superior in a general knowledge of the machine to be constructed to the French builders. Our own opinion is, that very little of science or skill is exhibited, either by us or the French, in the present mode of constructing a ship. We profess ourselves to be no great clerks,' but we cannot avoid thinking that, of all the arts, this has made the least progress in improvement, and that the best constructed ship is pretty nearly the same rude machine which it was at the earliest periods of its invention. It has grown in mag