opinions and sects with equal indif. If the Church of England is made to ference, or, it may rather be said, appear to an untruthful disadvantage, with equal respect, and lifts up and it is hard to withhold a suspicion that dignifies the disgusting subscribers to there has been a bias somewhere or the blasphemy of Joe Smith, the other. Places of Worship, of due Mormonite, with a place among solemnity, and so-called places of "other Christian Churches." Taking worship, where congregations keep on the very respectable accounts of the their hats and smoke; and places multitudes of creeds, with the equally fraudulently self-styled places of worrespectable classification, it would not ship, whose object is to put down all be very unfair to imagine them to worship-are jumbled together as have been made purposely for a people “Christian Churches," and so make in search of a religion; and that the a numerical array against the Church compiler, as a general agent for all of England. No matter what they bodies, would show the honesty and are, their ticket-titles, with pretty impartiality of his agency by an equal nearly the same "probatum est” of and fair display of all their com. Census, are tossed into his authority modities, without presuming to indi- bag, well shaken, to be thrown out for cate a preference or bias. More than the people to pick up as a boon and this, the pedlar's pack is ready to ex- privilege of equal value, and of equal bibit the quilts and cradle of the mad Government sanction. Jobanna, and advertise that there are It having been shown that the reyet four insane congregations of ligious returns depended only upon "an Southcottians, into any of which the intimation" of voluntary liabilitylooker-out for a faith may enroll bim- that replies were not compulsoryself or herself. I cannot believe, En- it may easily be imagined that those sebius, that he would willingly, know. sects which mostly desired to magnify ingly, omit any sect; that he has not their numerical importance, would noticed, therefore, the Princeites and take advantage of this and other intithe Agapemone, I put down, not as mations which the circular agency of of any evil intention, or of disrespect dissenting officials might industriously to them, but merely to that careless- distribute. It would appear that there ness and negligence which have caused were actually, on the given day, cirso many omissions and inaccuracies. culating congregations. The registerAnd this is the more surprising, as his ed numbers must be fallacious. But very lengthy and flattering account of our ingenious Census has not exhaustthe Mormonites would have led him, ed his contrivances. He has invented one would have supposed, to as full a another test. Forgetting the little narrative of so congenial a sect. For approbation of those who make long it does not appear that any degree of prayers," he has set up & religious insanity, or worse, is to apnul the hour-glass as a surer test than numtitle of faithful believers to be a bers, and by this little simple engine “Christian Church !" I would not wish converts the religions zealof the Church to speak too lightly; but, in truth, in of England, which stood as the major, this report the area of religion seems into the minor, in comparison with the to be treated as that of a fair, in which Dissenting bodies, page clvi. “ Thus, any set of actors may set up a booth, while the table just presented shows and claim from the Queen's printer the that the Church of England has atadvantage of advertising bills for tending its three services more persons general distribution. You remember, than all other bodies put together Eusebius, Sir Godfrey Kneller's dream; (3,733,474 against 3,487,558), it apbeing, as he professed, of no parti- pears from the table on page clxxxii, cular religion, he was desired to make that the number of attendances pera free choice.

formed by the 3,733,474 is actually But why was this enumeration and less than the number performed by this history of and inquiry into creeds the 3,487,558; the former having atmade at all? Why procecded in, when, tended 5,292,551 times, while the latas I before stated with regard to school ter attended 5,603,515 times. Or if inquiry, it was ascertained there could we assume that a service on an averbe po legal demand for truthful replies? age occapies an hour and three quar. ters, it would seem that the 3,773,474 omissions, very fatal as they are to Churchmen devoted 9,261,962 hours census matters, have an ugly look, to religious worship (or two hours and from this strange circumstance, that a half each), while the 3,487,558 Dis- there is a secret to be kept, under senters devoted 9,806,151 hours to a promise offered by, or required from, similar duty (or two hours and three the Secretary of State concerning all quarters each)." A very ridiculously particulars regarding these Returns. amusing idea this-a newly-invented This is very strange indeed. First, religious clock, set up by a Govern- the investigation is not founded on ment Census in a conspicuous situa. Act of Parliament, but the personal tion, warranted accurately to strike requisition of the Secretary of State ; the quarters; or an improvement, per- secondly, the Secretary of State, thus haps, having a double-striking action, going far beyond the Parliamentary with the two figures on each side, like liberty, is under promise of secresy to St Dunstan's,-one to represent the the census-makers and enumerators. Church-of-England man, the other the If required of him, did he not wonder Dissenter, striking their variances, and what could be the why or wherefore ? looking so savage at each other that The secrets, whatever they were, are it is lucky the clock's orbit is betwixt kept. And what is the result ? A 'em. But I have a notion, Eusebius, very strange one: an admission, op that our amusing census-mechanician the part of Government, that the Reis a bit of a plagiarist in this; for I turns are not fair and just-an admisremember reading something like it sion made in the House of Lords. of a Praying machine in common use You may think, Eusebius, that this somewhere in Tartary, into which cer- statement requires graver authority tain written prayers are put. It is than this assertion of mine. I will then turned round, like a grinding give you the gravest, beyond the graorgan, at a trifling cost, by the hand vity of a judge,—the gravity of & of the officiating priest-the supposed- bishop. Here is an extract from the praying person or penitent receiving charge of the Bishop of Gloucester and perfect satisfaction, without giving Bristol, delivered in August and Sephimself the least trouble in the world. tember last:This is a hint in somebody's travels,

"My attention has been drawn to an it may be, from which Gulliver may enumeration of churches and places of greatly improve his religious time- dissenting worship, and to the alleged atpiece.

tendance at each respective place, as But as Homer nods occasionally, taken on the 30th March 1851, called without loss of dignity, so does our the Census Sunday. A digested summary Gulliver; and when he wakes, he finds of that religious census has been put forth his watch has run down, and, like in the present year, in a cheap and popuother common folk, he sets it by con

lar form, with a great apparatus of tables, jecture, or by the sun. The sun! By

accompanied by an historical and statistiwhat sun? That which hardly glim

cal discussion. This publication, which

has been widely circulated, is probably mers a light through murky fog, seen

known to most of my reverend brethren. from metropolitan official window ? or

It comprises a great store of interesting

it by church clock or tabernacle clock ? and curious matter, illustrated by ingenior by an average of time, extracted ous calculations, and is well adapted to from ingenious tabular calculations, amuse and inform (query misinform) the of which the minute-hands are impa- reader. But, in the main purport for tient? It is by conjecture. Thus we which the enumeration was intended, a find, p. cli., “An estimate for defec representation of the relative numbers of tive returns"_" also including esti- Churchmen and Dissenters, it must be remates for omissions." What have garded as a failure, and as leading only to statistics to do with defectives, and

erroneous conclusions. The investigation

itself not having been founded on the Act estimates for omissions? Whose pri.

of Parliament for taking the census, but vilege are they? By whom be

upon the personal requisition of a Secrequeathed? And who is the residuary

tary of State ; many clergymen declined legatee, with the right to do what he to answer the questions or assist such an pleases with his own?

inquiry respecting their congregations, These “ defective returns," these deeming it useless and unauthorised curi

osity ; while, among the sectarians, there be made, the numbers who attended one appears to have been excitement and service on Sunday, were found, upon calactivity to procure the largest possible culation, to be about 117,421, while, in the confluence of persons in the meeting official returns of the Registrar-General, houses on that day. From these and they were stated only at 98,410. But other causes a return was procured highly the greatest misstatements in the reports favourable to the dissenting numbers as occurred, not from our own numbers being compared with those of the Church. Such lessened, but from the number of the Disflagrant instances were found of the er- senters, of nearly all denominations, being roneous deductions drawn from this expo- greatly exaggerated and set forth." sition, that the subject was brought before

Again :the House of Lords, in the late session,

“ He would read to the House a brief by two of my right reverend brethren,

statement upon the subject, which he had

st and the authorities were moved for upon

taken the trouble to procure, which was which the report had been grounded.

authenticated, and could be depended Hereupon it was admitted, on the part of

upon in every way, and which comprised, the Government, that a strong case for

in fact, short extracts from various writcomplaint had been made out, and that

ten reports forwarded to him. From these the numbers of the Church had been

reports it appeared that, at the times understated; but they declined producing

when the numbers were being taken, the the grounds of the statement on the score

Dissenters filled their places of worship of good faith; a promise having, it seems,

on purpose to swell the return of their been given by the Secretary of State, that

numbers ; that many persons attended all the particulars of the returns should

in these Dissenting chapels in the evennot be published-a promise which natu

ing who attended Church in the morning rally led to carelessness, and, perhaps in

and afternoon; that most, if not all, the some cases, fiction. Here the matter must

Dissenters of the neighbouring parishes rest. Henceforward nobody can appeal

always attended the particular parish

always atten to the Religious Census of 1851 as a docu.

where the Census was being taken, so that ment of authority.”

they were in reality counted two or three You see, Eusebius, there is a new times over ; that special sermons were working-day, a “ Census Sunday," preached in the Dissenting chapels to intaken out of the fifty-two on which duce larger congregations to assemble ; shops are closed and business stayed,

that the same persons often attended

places of worship belonging to different as days (transferred from the Jewish

Dissenting denominations ; that the unSabbath) on which "Thou shalt do favourable state of the weather during no manner of work"-set up by autho- the time the Census was being taken kept rity of the Secretary of State ; made many people from Church ; that many of not only a day of business for an army the chapels mentioned in the report could of spies and enumerators, but a day not hold the number of the persons reof general jealousy and temptation to turned as going to them, unless such perfraud. Highly beneficial this to Chris sons were very small children ; that all tian communities! You have read

the children were taken from the charity the declaration of a political party

schools, and made to count in the returns; maxim—that it should be the Whig

that the Dissenters, from the first, enterpolicy to court the Dissenters-and

tained an opinion that the returns were

to be looked upon as a struggle between here you see it secretly put in practice

the Churchmen and Dissenters ; that our under a public pretence.

own clergy, for various reasons, were In the House of Lords the Bishop careless about the matter, and conscienof Oxford had made the same com tiously objected to the returns being taken plaint as to the unauthorised character in the manner proposed, and so did not of the Census. “It was beyond the assist in taking them ; that many of the power vested in the Secretary of State most important returns were in reality to send out these papers." I make taken by persons hostile to the Church, some extracts from his speech :

and desirous rather to depreciate its im

portance than exemplify the real amount “For this reason, the numbers given in of its influence."...."He would refer, the official documents, as purporting to as an instance of misstatement, to the rebelong to the Church of England, were turn of the Registrar-General as to the oftentimes very loosely put together, and Roman Catholics of Liverpool, from which considerably less than such numbers really it appeared that the numbers attending were. In his own diocese, for instance, Catholic chapels were 27,660, whereas it where he had caused careful inquiries to was a well-known fact that all the sittings in their places of worship in this town did object which their lordships had in view not amount to more than 8006. Another -namely, that of getting a true report of instance might also be mentioned in refer the number of all religious denominations, ence to the parish of St Giles, where the unless they were made upon a very differsittings for Roman Catholics were only ent principle from the present returns." 460, and yet the nuniber attending them

A pretty exposure is this, Eusebius. was inserted in the Census as 3000. He had heard, also, of a case in which the

The Census, then, is not only an imnumber of persons attending Divine ser pertinence, but a mischief. I have vice during the day at one of our churches given you very grave authority-they was inserted as 236, whereas, at one ser. settle the case. The Census is convice alone, the clergyman of the place demned. It is nailed down to the knew that 550 had attended ; and, upon counter of fair dealing, like a false his remonstrating on the subject, the num- coin, bearing the sovereign image, bers were re-examined, and found to which never came from the sovereign amount, including both morning and after- mint

mint-no, nor the Parliamentary. noon services, to upwards of 800."

I must stay my hand. It will never I must give you, Eusebius, the do to tack on, as a supplement, the authority of another Bishop :

worsted fringe of my poor style to the “ The Bishop of St David's concurred rich texture of Episcopal orations. I in most of the observations of the right know you laugh at my hypocrisy. You reverend prelate who had just sat down, are right. I don't believe a word about and from the instances which had come

the poverty of style. Mother-wit can under his notice, believed it would have been better if the clergy of the Church of

swagger when it will: nor will I be England had refused to give the returns

thankless of its gift, to disparage its in the manner they were required to do: power of rising. Do you not know it because, by giving them, they were in is occasionally light for a purpose ? fact countenancing and encouraging the Bishops may not deal with ridicule : improper returns that had been made. but it is a legitimate weapon for such He knew the feeling of the great body of as we are, who may wear a comic the clergy was, that the “ Religious Cen mask, and yet tell grave truthssus," as it was called, was a mere farce, and could not be said, by any means, to

" Interdum tamen et vocem comedia tollit, represent a fair estimate of what really

Iratusque Chremes tumido delitigat ore." was the number of the different denomina

You and I are old enough to be pritions. He held in his hand letters from several persons. corroborative of much vileged, when provoked, to put on the that the right reverend prelate had stated : angry Chremes. But I will not swell and in one of these letters it was said, out just now after these Episcopal that a dissenting chapel was returned in and Parliamentary orations, rememthe report as having in it, on the day of bering the fable-The Frogs and the the return, 2000 persons ; whereas, ac- Ox. The motley style, neither all cording to the Dissenters' own statement, too serions nor too gay, does its work. the largest number it could hold was 1200 The clown and the judge are characpersons. From the various facts which

ters in the same play, and needful to had been laid before him, and in which

the plot - often the first the most he had every reason to place confidence,

amusing. A light manner may hold there were many cases in which the return of the Dissenters exceeded the num

severe matter. It is a world of light ber of the population of the place they

readers; you are one, and will not were supposed to be living in ; and, in object to this letter on that account. other cases, there was no doubt that the The famous Dr Prideaux, when he took Dissenters had been counted over and a copy of his Connexion of the Old over again. It was also known that the and New Testament to the publisher, Dissenting Sunday Schools had clubbed had it returned to him with the retogether to take it in turn to attend each mark, that it was a dry subject, and others' places of worship at different times

he (the publisher) could not venture of the day." .... “We ought not to

on it unless it could be enlivened with have trusted these matters to the persons

a little humour. Let this be an exthat we did, many of whom were interested in putting forward exaggerated

cuse for mine, and no damage will be reports of the particular sects to which done to the sobriety of the sense that they belonged, and he firmly believed that is under it. no future returns would accomplish the




MY DEAR IRENÆUS,—There are is of little value to man, and in the many ways of beginning a new year. realisation of it he can never vie with Some people begin it with a series of the raven or the oak. Relative long parties given and received; others life may be secured in two ways, even with good resolutions; others by en- by those whom the gods love, and who deavouring to carry out those good die young, by multiplying actions, or resolutions; others by intending to by multiplying impressions. In this pay their debts; others-fewer, I fear view, there is a wise philosophy in the -by paying them; most good men by expression “a short life and a merry either propositions of amendment, or one." To the indolent it is easier to an endeavour to act accordingly; multiply impressions than actions, and many, and that a large class, after a for this purpose we love books, we short effort in the same direction, by love gossip, and, above all, we love putting off the beginning of the new travelling; for in travelling we get year for themselves to their own the cream of books through the prisbirth-days, which are likely to occur matic colours, not the dull black and at some time in the course of the year, white of letterpress. Apropos of what and, when their own birth-days come, I said about the agreeables and disby lapsing into their old courses. agreeables of travelling, Tennyson has Such being the case, it struck a certain written two beautiful pieces, one friend of yours, that no bad way of called the “Lotos-Eater," the other beginning 1855 would be to have a “Ulysses." In the first he describes look at our gallant allies and their the unpleasantness of the evépyela, or new empire, at the other side of the action; in the second the pleasantness Channel, to jot down some of the of the epyov, or production; in the first impressions he had received during he describes the sweetness of rest, in his flying visit, and to send them off the second the staleness of rust. By to you and Maga. The only difficulty the way, what a pleasant book for a was how to begin; for to begin with journey is a volume of the Laureate, a description of a railroad-and-steamer published by Mr Moxon, of Dover journey would be even impudently Street-clear type and plenty of martrite. I wonder why so many tra- gin, like the white paper left round a vellers take the trouble to describe so water-colour drawing, setting off the unpleasant a thing as travelling. You poetry to the best advantage-not too open your eyes ; for you know that, if large for the pocket, or too small for I am not a fanatic in anything else, I the eyes; not too heavy in hand, or am a fanatical traveller. I must ex- too light for the wind that comes plain. The pleasure of travelling con- through the open window. I have a sists in the stopping, not in the going great dislike to cheap railway liteon, but because to stop you must go rature in general, not on account of on first. The disagreeables of travel the cheapness, but on account of the ling are necessary evils, to be encoun- density of the print, which, with the tered for the sake of the agreeables jarring of the carriage, becomes mere of resting and looking round you. confusion. Light reading ought to be And these agreeables, in my opinion, lightly bound and easily legible, 1100 far outweigh the other disagreeables, requiring to get fairly into it, a "pons therefore am I a fanatical traveller; asinorum" of material difficulties ; in and I hold that the impressions re- short, to compare it with persons, its ceived during a week of travelling are mental beauty ought not to labour commonly equal to those received under the disadvantage of Curran, during a twelvemonth of ordinary life. who, being an ugly, but a pleasant We all wish and pray for long life, man, boasted that he was not a quarter and this long life may be either rela- of an hour behind the handsomest tive or absolute. Absolute long life man in London. Maga is the closest


« VorigeDoorgaan »