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by any method of synodical or popular election, because, under such a constitution the preferment would be given exclusively to the adherents of the dominant party. At the same time, the actual condition of things produces, it must be owned, some scandals, and is blemished by some abuses. These might be removed, quoad temporalia, by legalising the sale of presentations without restriction; and quoad spiritualia, by making the preparation and examinations for holy orders more stringent than at present; by rendering the Diaconate (according to its true design) a kind of apprenticeship to the Ministry, and allowing cleacons to withdraw from their profession if they found themselves unfitted for its duties ; perhaps also by requiring that no incumbent should be instituted below the age of thirty; and possibly by permitting to the parishioners a veto on the presentation, under conditions such as those imposed by Lord Aberdeen's Act in Scotland. We rejoice in the parliamentary discussion of this very important subject of patronage, and hope that it may lead in time to some well considered measures of amendment, which will (we may venture to predict) be very different from that propounded by Dr. Phillimore.
There may be much difference of opinion upon many of the topics discussed in the preceding pages; but there is one point at least connected with the ecclesiastical revenues on which all must agree; namely, that Parliament has the power (whether it have the right or not) to apply these revenues to such purposes as it may judge most beneficial; and moreover, that it has exercised this power repeatedly in times past. This being the case, it may seem strange that there should be a possibility of its throwing away any part of this property, thus placed at its own disposal, from disliking the mode in which it is levied, or the purposes to which it is now applied. Yet this is not a mere possibility, but has already actually happened. By the Irish Tithe Commutation Act, for example, a quarter of the tithe was abandoned to the landowners, in order to conciliate their support. And this was only in accordance with the Irish Church Temporalities Act passed in 1833, by which church rates in Ireland were made no longer payable by the proprietors from whom they had formerly been due, but charged upon a fund formed by the suppression of ten supernumerary bishoprics. We do not deny that these measures were justified by strong motives of public policy; but we may venture to regret that it was not found possible to apply the property taken from the Church to other public purposes. For example, it was undoubtedly wise not to extort rates for Protestant churches from a Roman Catholic people; but one naturally is tempted to wish that the same annual sum had been levied on the same property as a school rate. Had this been done, the large grant now annually voted for Irish education might have been spared. .
In the late debate on English church rates, it was proposed by Mr. Hume to follow the Irish precedent, and charge the rates upon the funds of the Ecclesiastical Commission; and even Sir G. Grey is reported to have said that he saw nothing objectionable in such a scheme. The subject of Church Rates is too important to be treated at the end of an article ; and we hope to return to it at an early opportunity. We will therefore content ourselves for the present with expressing our doubts of the soundness of a plan which would not merely absorb the whole of a revenue so recently devoted (by repeated Acts of Parliament) to other and far more important objects; but also would give an annual bonus of nearly half a million sterling to the owners of land and houses.*
It is doubly important at present to make this protest on behalf of the property of the public; because symptoms are not wanting of an unnatural coalition between Protectionist Toryism and Sectarian Democracy. Dissenters, who hate the Church more than they love the country, seem willing to gratify the unholy hunger of disappointed landlords hankering after the tithes. Several Protectionists in Parliament have spoken of the endowment of the Church as a burden on agriculture. And in this they have an imitator and ally in Mr. Allen, the Quaker, who has lately published a thick octavo against “ State Churches," wherein he proposes that the nation should give up, if not the whole at least half the tithes, as a compensation to the agriculturists for the repeal of the corn-laws. Such a prospect is no doubt very alluring to the squire whose rent has been reduced ; yet we trust that it is not very likely to be realised by Parliament. As to church rates, the irregularity of their recurrence, their semi-voluntary character, and other peculiarities, may perhaps blind the Legislature to the fact that in abolishing them it sacrifices a portion of its own rights over property. But the case of tithes is far more simple, and if Parliament should ever abandon them, it will do it with its eyes open. Few but those who are deeply interested or deeply ignorant will follow the Protectionist leaders in calling the property of the titheowner a burden on agriculture. It would be as reasonable to say that
• It is true that the legal incidence of church rates is theoretically in personam ; but being, in the words of Lord Campbell (when Attorney General, in the House of Commons March 3. 1837), “a 'charge on the person in respect of the land, they are practically a charge on real property.
Lord Sefton's property in Lancashire was a burden on Lord Derby's property in the same county. For the titheowner and the landlord are in reality joint owners of the soil ; nor has the landlord, nor any of his ancestors, ever possessed the titheowner's portion of the property. If the tithe be in arrear, the titheowner takes possession of the land, and retains it till the arrears be satisfied.* In many parishes the tithes have been commuted for land ; and there it must be clear to the dullest farmer that the parson's estate in the parish is no burden upon his farming.
The term of a burden upon agriculture can only be correctly applied to that which prevents the agriculturist from bringing his produce into the market on equal terms with his competitors, or (in other words) which tends to throw the land out of cultivation. Now the farmer takes his land subject to the rights both of the landowner and of the titheowner; and the rent which he agrees to pay is the surplus remaining (after satisfying the claim of the titheowner) above the profit due to his own time and capital. Whenever the land yields such a surplus, the landlord of course will take it; and the extinction of tithe will make no difference to the farmer, who will pay the tithe to the landlord (as farmers of abbey-lands know full well) in the shape of an increased rent. But supposing the land to yield no rent, but only to produce enough to pay farmer's profit and tithe ; still the tithe is no burden on the cultivation, though its existence, no doubt, diminishes the income of the landowner. Lastly, suppose the extreme case, when the land will not yield enough, after paying the titheowner, to remunerate the farmer; then, by the present law, the land becomes for the time the property of the titheowner, who will cultivate it for his own profit if its cultivation yields any profit at all. Consequently, there would be, even in this case, no tendency to throw the land out of cultivation, unless its cultivation would be impossible under any circumstances. There was, indeed, under the old law, a case in which tithe might have acted as a burden on agriculture. It sometimes happened that landowners were hindered from bringing waste land into cultivation, because it would not yield a profit after deducting a tenth of the produce, which was then due to the titheowner. But this impediment exists no longer; for no tithe-rentcharge is payable on any land which was not already in cultivation at the time of the passing of the Commutation Act.
While we are on this subject, we cannot help mentioning the original view put forward by Mr. Allen (the Quaker writer
before quoted) in defence of those who try to shake off this ecclesiastical burden. It has been often remarked that the owner of property is bound in justice to pay the tithes, because the purchase-money paid for his land was diminished by the value of the titheowner's interest in the soil. Mr. Allen replies that if the estate had been subject to the periodical incursions of a band of armed robbers, it would have sold for so much less in the market; but that its purchaser would not be therefore bound to subinit to the depredations of the marauders. This answer shows a happy union of respect for law and perception of morality -• Compositum jus fasque animo! **
The above remarks may perhaps suffice in reply to the Protectionist assailants of the Church. With regard to their democratic allies, who are so eager to destroy the Establishment that they wish to make the squires a present of its funds, it will probably occur to them, before the bargain is executed, that they may buy their whistle at a cheaper rate. They may take the tithe from the priest, and give it to the schoolmaster or the parish surgeon. Instead of pulling down the Church, they may turn it into a music hall or a mechanics' institute. However they may detest the superstitious uses' to which its revenues are now devoted, they are at liberty (saving vested interests) to apply them to more utilitarian purposes; and the application of them to any public purpose whatever would be better than their transfer to the owners of the soil. The fate of the Establishment amid the changes and chances of a government continually becoming more popular, is difficult to foresee. It may be maintained; it may be mutilated; or it may be demolished. But whatever be its destiny, we trust that it will be saved from that worst sacrilege, absorption in the maw of private selfishness. We trust that no future Parliament will rob the nation to enrich the landlords ; nor fill the lap of luxury with the heritage of the poor.
* A clergyman of our acquaintance was formerly the owner of a house and garden which was subject to a rent-charge of 10l. per annum payable for the repair of the Quakers' meeting.house. We wonder whether Mr. Allen would apply his marauding theory to this instance.
ART. IV. – First Report of the Commissioners appointed to
inquire into and report upon the System of superintending and executing Public Works, in the Madras Presidency. Submitted to the Right Honourable the Governor in Council of Fort St. George on the 23rd December, 1852. Madras :
1852. IN January, 1850, the Court of Directors instructed the
Government of Madras to appoint a commission for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting on the system under which Public Works are carried on in that Presidency. The Government of Madras carried that order into effect in February, 1851; and the first result has been this admirable Report, of which it is but faint praise to say that it is the most valuable work that has yet been printed at the Madras press. Its value consists in a clear exposition of facts and principles ; and the conclusions to which it leads can scarcely fail to be for the most part acted on, and, when acted on, to produce a marked effect on the well-being of the people in the provinces subject to Madras.
In England, where so much is done by private enterprise, the term Public Works scarcely conveys that extensive meaning which attaches to it in countries in which the Government is the prime agent in all considerable undertakings; and besides the roads, canals, harbours, lighthouses, &c., which may be obviously suggested by it here, there is in Madras, as is well known, an extensive class of works, those of Irrigation, which are altogether the province of the Government. This arises from the fact that all the cultivated land of the country pays an assessment to the State, which, from its inequality, it is difficult to estimate correctly, but which may be roughly stated at from 30 to 40 per cent. of the gross produce. For purposes of assessment the land may be divided into two great classes ; one of which, watered only by the rains, bears generally a crop of inferior value, and is subject to all the variations which occur in the quantity of rain that falls from year to year; while the other, being irrigated artificially, has a greater abundance and a less fluctuating supply of water, grows more valuable products, and yields a greatly larger return. The State alone, which receives so large a share of the gross produce, is in a position to undertake the formation, or attend to the repair, of the great works which distribute water over extensive tracts of country, or in fact of any work which cannot be executed by the inhabitants of a single village in a few days, and for