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formularies of the Church; for similar attacks that have been made during the present Parliament have not weakened his allegiance. It is very unlikely, therefore, that his presence among the Liberals will effect any modification of their hostility to the Church; such a change would alienate the Dissenters and would not even bind Mr. Gladstone closer to them.
Perhaps the desire definitively to exchange the alliance of the Conservative for the alliance of the Liberal party is not entertained by the whole of the Churchmen who intend to support Mr. Gladstone. In some of the expressions of opinion to which the approaching election has given rise, a less dignified but somewhat shrewder aspiration makes its appearance. Not a few of Mr. Gladstone's supporters appear to think that the present is an admirable arrangement, because it gives the Church a hold over both sides of the House. The Conservatives, according to this view, are safe. They may be repudiated, opposed, insulted to any extent.
Oxford may refuse to recognise by her vote the earnestness with which they have fought the battle of the Church; but their principles are so well known, and have been maintained so steadily, that there is no fear that any
desertion or ingratitude will shake their fidelity. The same reliance cannot, it is said, or rather hinted, be placed on the loyalty of Mr. Gladstone. If the Church drives him from her-i. e. if he is not elected for the University of Oxford—his Church principles are not warranted to bear the strain. If he is forced to take refuge with a manufacturing constituency, it is thought likely enough that he will adopt the Church principles of his new friends, and that his present views about protecting endowments and upholding formularies will go the way which all his other Conservative opinions have gone before. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to preserve his connection with the University, as (to use the current phrase) “it is the only thing that holds him.
This is a view of the case which any one who discusses the University election may hear anywhere in private conversation, and which shows itself not indistinctly in the writings of those who are most earnest in advocating his cause.
It must be confessed that the theory is more complimentary to the Conservative party than it is to Mr. Gladstone. We wish we could conscientiously accept for them the whole of the compliment it involves. But we cannot refrain from doubting, from a Church point of view, the danger that is likely to ensue from the course that is deprecated, or the entire safety of that which is recommended. Mr. Gladstone's Church championship is an advantage that may be surrendered without any serious misgiving. It brings little else than his own single vote : and scarcely that
on occasions when the vote is the most sorely needed. On the other hand it has operated, and to some slight extent operates even now, as a decoy of dangerous efficacy. In the House of Commons his example has lost its power with any who retain any kind of Conservative feeling. Those who daily witness the cordial and close co-operation which he maintains with the Dissenters and Radicals in the House of Commons cannot continue to cherish any illusions as to the real hue of his political opinions. But out of doors, among those who have not the opportunity of watching him closely, his seductive power is more extensive and more pernicious. They know that he was a Conservative once, and before they will believe in an alteration they look for some definite statement of a changed belief. It is only in rare intervals of incaution, like that which produced the universal suffrage speech of last year, that definite statements can be discovered in his oratory at all : and, in that case, as soon as his attention was called to the inadvertent lucidity of his expressions, he hastened to enshroud it in the wonted cloud of words that hides the curious mazes of his career from the public eye. So long as he sits for Oxford, that stands in the eyes of a great number of people as a warranty of his Conservatism : and by the help of its sanction he continues to persuade them to accept as constitutional a good many notions which have been learnt in the later, or Manchester, half of his career. Oxford is no real restraint upon his actions. It does not force him to give any genuine and effective assistance to the Church upon any occasion on which his interest would not otherwise lead him to give it. But it enables him to stamp at the Oxford mint many an idea of American or German origin. It does not restrain him from giving the whole of his powers to the service of Liberals : but it gives him a title to the attention of Conservatives which would not be accorded to the representative of an avowedly Liberal constituency, but which, nevertheless, is used entirely in Liberal interests.
The idea, therefore, that the University seat is the only thing that holds Mr. Gladstone must be abandoned, because there is in reality nothing left from which it can be said to hold him. The other half of the implied argument to which we have adverted, that the Conservatives may be depended upon to support the Church whatever the upshot of the University election may be, has of course more truth in it. Yet there would be something delusive in this confidence, if it were to be carried too far. We have no doubt that it would be strictly true with respect to the leaders of the Conservative party, and to the larger portion of their followers. They would be loyal to the Church, however far any portion of the clergy might wander from their traditional policy
and their obvious interests in the exciting pursuit of a Liberal alliance. But, in close divisions, the result does not depend entirely upon the leaders of a party, or even upon a majority of the members of whom it consists. If there is any cause that mars a complete unanimity of sentiment among them their power for Parliamentary purposes is paralysed. Now, a party is made up of men who attach a very different prominence to the various portions of its creed. Some, for instance, care most for a Conservative policy as it affects the Church : the thoughts of others are most fixed on foreign policy: others, again, are most eagerly bent upon an effective resistance to democracy. These sections, confident in each other's mutual goodwill, extend to each other a hearty and strenuous support. But it cannot be denied that that section whose chief political object is to keep democracy at bay, will be a good deal chilled in their enthusiasm upon Church divisions, if they see the great Church constituency deliberately returning as its representative the leader of the democratic party. There are always, in every large body, many men who obey their impulses more than their reason or their principles, and such men might under such provocation allow their feelings to find expression in their Parliamentary conduct. If only a few of them, under the dominion of resentment of this kind were to resist all party pressure and absent themselves from divisions, the Church victories which have adorned this Parliament could not possibly be achieved in the next. If the great Church constituency were to elect the chosen leader of Mr. Bright and his friends, the chosen candidate of the extreme Liberals in South Lancashire, it would be, after all the exertions the Conservative party have made during the last six years, a disavowal so mortifying that it could hardly fail to tell upon divisions. Such a result will assuredly not take place if the Conservative leaders can prevent it; but no one who knows human nature can doubt that it may possibly take place in spite of them. Contempt,' says the Indian proverb, will pierce the shell of the tortoise ;' and if the clergy recompense with contempt those who have rescued the Church when the Liberation Society were on the point of triumphing, and have turned defeat into victory, they can hardly look for efforts so vigorous and so successful another time.
These, however, are forebodings of darker omen, upon which it would be painful to dwell. There is every indication that, at Oxford and elsewhere, those who love the Church perfectly understand her real interest, and will not choose as their champion one who is already hailed as the leader of the Radicals and Dissenters. In the struggle which lies before us, Churchmen must
The Church in her Relations to Political Parties.
remember how the fairest cause may be ruined, and the most devoted labours foiled, by the effect of internal divisions. It is not a time when individual predilections or personal antipathies ought to influence the minds of men who are earnest in a com
The next Parliament will probably have a more momentous influence over the destinies of the Church, than any within recent memory; for the subject matter of its deliberations may be of more than secular importance, and the ill that it may be invited to do is not of a kind that can be repaired. During the next five or six years, we shall probably have to bear the brunt of the attack that has been long maturing, and of which the first skirmishes have already taken place. The contest will differ from all to which we have been recently accustomed, in that it is no longer for the outworks, but for the citadel of the position that we hold. Struggles for the maintenance of endowments were important, but they were not supreme.
If an endowment was lost, it could be replaced; and its loss would be rather a temporary embarrassment, than a fatal blow. But purity of faith, once tampered with, cannot easily be restored. If, through the apathy or the divisions of Churchmen, the power of the House of Commons falls into the hands of those who are the enemies of all creeds, injury may be done to her in a few short years which generations will not repair. The attack must be made at once, if it is to be made with any chance of success. The adversaries of the Church know that the rapidity with which she is recovering her lost hold, among the classes that have been alienated from her, will in the course of a very short time place her in a position to defy the intrigues of politicians. Their only hope is to take advantage of the present apathy of educated opinion, and the dissensions of Churchmen, to pass measures which, unless she is content to surrender her Divine credentials, must pierce her with the wound of a deadly schism. The attack has been conceived with terrible ingenuity, and will doubtless be carried on with all the energy the enemies of the Church know how to command. Its results will depend upon the spirit which Charchmen shall display. Dissensions may open to it the door of success, and produce calamities of which no man living shall see the close. Union, and energy, and a subordination of every other motive to the one great end, will baffle it for ever.
Arr. VIII.—History of Frederic the Second of Prussia, called
Frederic the Great. By Thomas Carlyle. Vols. V. and VI. 1825. E left Mr. Carlyle, several years ago, at the end of the two
preliminary volumes of his great and laborious work, the crowning effort of a life of unremitted literary industry. In his third, he carries his hero on to the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the most prominent period in his biography and in the history of the eighteenth century; down to the French Revolution; the war which established his place among the eight or ten chief military captains of mankind, and which, at the same time, elevated a new Power to rank among the firstrate monarchies of Europe. In the two last volumes, now before us, he recounts, in very minute detail, the intricate events of that contest, and, as it certainly appears to us, with disproportionately small development, the internal history of Prussia, and the particulars of his hero's life, down to his decease. All the reading world has had before its eyes these remarkable volumes: all that can be said of their inordinate tendency to hero-worship; the intolerant dictation to the reader of all that he is to think and feel, under pain of heresy; the familiar and characteristic extravagances of style and diction; has been urged already by a thousand ready pens. And almost as ample testimony has been borne by critics to the power and picturesqueness of the narrative; the thousand touches of humour and pathos by which the writer's lessons, if too didactically enforced, are illustrated and accompanied; the genuine sense of what is right in human action and lofty in human character which underlies his overstrained idolatry. After all that can be objected, and after all deduction on the score of the injury which the writer has inflicted upon himself, greater than any his critics could have occasioned him, by the choice of a subject so unpromising for one of his peculiar temperament, and by his manner of dealing with it in extreme and yet unequal copiousness of detail, always lengthiest, as it seems to us, where the matter is least attractive, it will remain in truth a great work, and a substantial contribution at once to accurate history and to high literature. For our own part, sincerely attached as we are to our profound Master of Paradoxes, we cannot but be enchanted to welcome him on his liberation from this self-imposed labour : to think of him as once more at liberty to astonish and amuse us with the wayward flights of his fancy, as well as instruct us with the hard, strong sense which redeems so many of his vagaries : no longer labouring away at that most hopeless of all his chimeras, Vol. 118.-No. 235.