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it up, and ' to cease acting in the character of suborners of juvenile mendacity.'
Unfortunately, however, our clergy have a strong attachment to this formulary, and insist upon teaching it in the schools over which they preside, partly, it seems, because they find it an able assistant in the propagation of insincerity, their darling vice, and partly because it is of service in the hostilities which our author has discovered they have long meditated and are now carrying on against the Bible. 'To keep the Bible as much as may be out of sight, is a policy, which, as far as circumstances have admitted, has ever been pursued in common, by Church of Romanism and Church of Englandism.'—p. 53.
'In the hands of Lancaster, with or without intention, the Bible, put into action by the instrument invented by Dr. Bell, worked as'a battering-ram against the Established Church.—What was to be done? The Bible suited not the purposes of the Church of Home: they forbade the use of it. As little did it or does it suit the purposes of the present rulers of the Church of England. What then was to be done?—Forbid the use of it they could not. What, in the same view, they could and did was — to teach, in the new way, the old thing which they found already in use—the Catechism :—the Catechism, which, having so long ago been taken in substance from the Church of Rome, was now seen to be so commodiously suited to those same purposes. The Bible was taught by Lancaster: the Church of England Catechism w:is not taught by him. Should the system of Lancaster spread, and become universal, —the Bible might prevail over the Catechism, and the Church of England might thus be brought to an end.—Dr. Bell was taken up,—and, with the Catechism in his hand, employed to defend the Church against the Bible.
.' The war thus secretly carried on against'the Bible, common prudence forbade to become an open one. Appearances required that some use should appear to be made of it. Selected and cooked up in the manner which was judged a proper one, the Parables, the Miracles, the Discourses of Jesus,—sooner or later, (lor, in the accounts published, times are throughout kept, as will be seen, in a state of the most convenient darkness)—sootier or later, some of each, at any rate, were professed at least to be taught.—Taught—but how? Taught by being caused to be repeated? Oh, no: that was a privilege, reserved (as in Part I. | 4, as hath been seen) for compositions of superior worth and nse: for the Graces, the Collects, the Prayers, the Catechism;—the Catechism " entire and broken"—of the Church of England. Under the impossibility of suppressing it altogether, the shortness of one short discourse—the Lord's Prayer, saved it from exclusion, so resolutely put upon every thing else that was ever said by him.'—pp. 55, 56.
Thus arose the National Society, intended by its patrons as a mode of attack on the Bible, and it appears that in this extraordinary nary warfare, the assailants had recourse to the most extraordinary means. From the first origin of this society Mr. Bentham, it seems, closely watched their ' nefarious' proceedings. From the first, several strange circumstances excited in his mind a suspicion 'that all was not right,' and that there was some concealed fraud at the bottom. Sometimes the dates of its meetings were not advertized, sometimes the place was omitted, the members present were not named, and, what is worst of all, the secretary most corruptly suppressed nil but the initial letters of his Christian names, and signed himself T. T. Walmsley. This was strong evidence of guilt, and by a lengthened and minute examination of the various artifices, Mr. Bentham found that they who constitute this Society have all along been deceiving the public with ' a tissue of imposture, if not of absolute forgery;' that in order to magnify their importance, they have been in the habit of announcing fictitious meetings, held by ' imaginary persons,' committees without any 'tokens of existence,' and resolutions that were never passed except in uubibus: it is, in fact,' a society of invisibles.'
Our author, however, carries his scepticism a little too far. Notwithstanding his doubts of the existence of this excellent association, it is certainly not altogether invisible. Its good effects are both seen and felt, and are widely diffused and every where acknowledged. We can assure Mr. Bentham of these facts, and to satisfy some of his other scruples we will tell him, we have been credibly informed that Mr. Walmsley is.a person in esse, and that (whatever may have been his reasons for concealing them) he actually has two Christian names.
This Society is, we are told, intended as 'a job for the bishops,' and 'the intolerant part of the bishops and their adherents, being but too probably the major part of them, contrive in this way to enjoy the benefit of their wickedness, without standing exposed to the disgrace so justly due to it.' This disgrace they will now no longer escape; their wicked design of teaching religion, that 'sanctified and so well elaborated production of the modern den of Cacus,' is detected; they must now blush, if they can, at the exposure of their 'self-conscious improbity,' and submit to the ' due humiliation' with which they are here threatened.
Having disposed of the subordinate and less important subjects of the Catechism and the National Society, our author enters at large on the consideration of the church, its various ' abominations' and ' antichristian practices.' We cannot follow him through all his lamentations over the many virtues that are sacrificed to the ' Moloch of the Church of England,' and the divisions and subdivisions of the twenty-five vices (for that is the exact number) which render it' adverse to the joint interests of piety, morality, and economy.' Many of the faults here attributed to it are such, as have often before been laid to its charge by its enemies; but Mr. Bentham must certainly be allowed the merit of having enlarged the catalogue. He is clearly original when he says that ' neglect of duty, wilful, constant, predetermined neglect of duty, and with it obtainment of money on false pretences, is sanctioned and established by the legislature.' We have often heard complaints of ' extravagantly paid benefices,' but our author is the first who has pointed out the very alarming consequences of those occasional dues which he emphatically terms ' the fornication-compelling, and birth and death embittering surplice-fees.' He has wandered a good way, even from his own former notions, in quest of accusations against our Rome-begotten and Rome-resembling church. He used to think that the many crimes committed in this country were owing to the ill construction of our laws, and at the time when he offered to convert rogues into honest men by contract, he flattered himself that with a system of laws framed according to his own views, and a panopticon of proper dimensions, the national morals might have been regenerated. But even attachment to his own speculations has yielded to enmity to the establishment, and we now learn that it is to ' the crime-producing virtue' of Church-of-Englandism that we are indebted for every moral disorder. 'Where would penal colonies, hulks or jails, find inhabitants, but for the Church of England?' Thus the good that is done by the prisons is undone by the churches, and unless the latter be abolished the former will always overflow. Even the errors and superstitions of a rival creed the clergy are to answer for. What interest they can have in the support of popery is not very obvious; but according to Mr. Bentham they degrade the understandings of the lower Irish to render them incapable of perceiving the abuses of the protestant establishment, and on this subtle calculation of remote advantage they perversely assist in keeping up the authority of his holiness. 'Yes; it is for Church-of-Englandism, as well as by Church-of-Englandism, that Catholicism and Popery are kept on foot in Ireland.'
Under the system here delineated, the unfortunate laity are, it seems, 'excellently well fleeced and squeezed, and no less excellently gulled and duped.' He rather grieves at the patience with which they submit to such exactions. 'But so long as people will continue to lie with their heads in a bush, to be thus vexed and pillaged, where is the imposture, where even the violence that will be grudged?'
The spectacle of his unhappy countrymen, suffering under this load of misery does not oppress the spirits of Mr. Bentham; on
the the contrary he seems rather to enjoy it, and cries out in sportive triumph—
'There stands Excellent Church. Behold her in puris naturalibus. These are among her vices. More, at any time, if wanted. Enquire, as above, of the Diocesan Secretary. Who shall make up the per contrd
side of her account? Who shall make out the list of her Excellencies?
Come forward, Dean Kipling;—Come forward, Dean Andrews ;—Come forward, Bishop Burgess;—-Come forward, Bishop Marsh;—Come forward, Bishop Howley;—Come forward, Archbishop Sutton ;—" Defenders of the Faith and so forth."—Come forward, Legion,— Saints of all sorts and sizes, buttoned up into unity in the waistcoat of the Quarterly Review.'—pp. 377
Such is the classic wit with which our author can enliven a dreary prospect! and this is not the only instance in which he has deigned to make merry with his opponents, and to employ the weapons of gay irony and delicate sarcasm. To ourselves he has been throughout particularly attentive, and besides the honourable mention made of us in the above passage, he proposes to dignify us (perhaps rather prematurely) with the honour of canonization, and jocularly designates us by the title of St. Quarterly Keview. It is gratifying to observe that profound philosophical reflection is not mcompatible with sprightly elegance, and that our author's application to severer studies has not dimmed the brilliancy of his fancy.
After having given so melancholy a view of the present system, we hasten to reverse the picture, and to show how complete is the alteration proposed by the author. He does not approve of halfmeasures, and accordingly the catalogue of what is to be abolished is tolerably extensive. It includes, besides 'all recorded declarations of belief concerning doctrme,' all dignities and all offices in the church, (except that of parish clerk,) and all without exception in the universities. College fellowships are to be given to half-pay officers, and the colleges themselves to be converted into invalid barracks. The performance of divine service, which for some reason or other is still to be continued, is to be committed to the clerk, or to a parish boy, to be taught reading for the purpose, and to receive a small stipend out of the poors-rates. The advantages which this plan offers in point of economy are obvious, and the improvement in discipline will probably be equal; for if the young preacher should be guilty of any irregularity, his congregation are to correct his negligence, or ' boyish malice,' by proper rebuke, or if necessary a proportionate application of the rod.
These are Mr. Bentham's views of the dignity of the clerical
profession, and the remarks which he has incidentally let fall on
• that of the law, indicate it to be no better, and to stand in need of
some similar reform. He seems to think that the 'man of law,' the 'veteran and wily lawyer,' is a character as detrimental to society as the ' lawyer-tutored priest,' and that it is a generous rivalry in the arts of fiction that endears these two professions to one another.
'Fraud, under the name of fiction, being the grand instrument of his power—fraud upon the legislature—fraud upon the people—fraud on every occasion—is dear to the man of law; dear to him—primarily for llie sake of that same power, secondarily, and by force of habit, for its own sake. Fraud, in every licensed shape in which he has a part in the management of it—(and in what licensed shape has he not a part in the management of it?) it is his interest that to the eye of the public it should be as familiar as possible Familiar?—Why? even that by familiarity the deformity of it may, as nearly as possible, be rendered imperceptible. Never without fraud will the man of law do any thing which he can contrive to do by or with fraud. Bad things he does by fraud, because he could not do them otherwise: good things, when they must be done, he chooses to do by fraud,—that by the goodness of the effect the blindness of the public may be deluded into a belief of flie goodness of the instritment. And whether he is or is not conscious of them (for—no fees being to be got by the perusal of it—his own mind is an object too frightful for the man of law to be fond of looking into) whether he is or is not conscious of them—in ihe fictions, alias tlie frauds, with which the Catechism will be seen to swarm, may be seen the cause of the fondness with which it is hugged, not only by the established priest, but by his confederate, the man of law. The Liturgy, with hs Catechism and its Altar, have they not become stepping- stones not only to spiritual but to temporal benches? From interpreting, in the Church-of-England mode, according to the rules that will be seen, the Oracles of God, the half-bigot, half-hypocrite comes to interpret, according to the same rules, the oracles of the grim Idol, to which, day by day, under the name of Common Law, no many lives and fortunes are sacrificed: the Idol manufactured by his predecessors on the same Bench, with the instrument with which.Samson slew the Philistines.'— pp. 229, 230.
We commonly feel most warmly on those subjects that come most nearly home to us, and it is therefore not surprizing that, amidst a general hatred of the institutions of his country, Mr. Beuiham's bitterest animosity should be directed against the university at which he was educated, and the profession of which he is a member. The object of the universities is, he lelis its, to inculcate 'habits of insincerity,' and to teach ' perjury in perfection;' 'the end of law is uncognoscibility.' As Mr. Bentham does not deal in facts, we cannot speak to his veracity, and do not know how far he may have profited by the mendacious instructions of his college tutors; but his work certainly exhibits symptoms of uncognoscibility as strong, at least, as thou; in an) legal composi