Imágenes de página


CORN-LAWS, Art. 18. Address to the Two Houses of Parliament, on the Im

portance of the Corn. Laws to the National Revenue. 8vo. Stockdale.

According to the advocates for the corn-laws, high prices are necessary in order to hold up the country; in course, cheap living must never more be expected in England. The author of this address is very confident in his assertions on this side of the question; and, if he perceives an objection to his doctrine in the effect which it may have on the foreign sale of our manufactures, he does not hesitate to insinuate that, for the sake of promoting the interests of the land-owner and land-occupier, we need not be very scrupulous in sacrificing the manufacturer. At all events, as the farmer must be supported, and can but just afford to sell his wheat at 108. per bushel, (i.e. 80s. per. quarter,) it is good policy to keep it at this price; and the ports must not be opened to the foreign importer without great jealousy, mature deliberation, and due restrictions. The most important point of view, however, in which the two Houses are called to contemplate the corn-restriction-laws, is their effect on the revenue, It is contended that the interest of the national debt cannot be paid unless high prices are sustained; or, in other words, that we must consent to pay extravagantly for the necessaries of life, to enable the Minister to raise a certain sum by taxation! To be forced to employ such an argument is a proof that we have spent more than we ought, and that the Bank-Restriction-Bill, which gave the Minister this power, was an unwise measure. Art. 19. A Few Observations on the Corn-Laws, and a short

Plan for the better Protection of the Poor. By a Landholder. 8vo. Is. Law and Co.

What is the result of these observations ? It is that a heavy taxa. tion must unavoidably augment, to an enormous degree, the price of every article of life ; – that the agriculturist, to meet the pressure of the times, must, like the tradesman, put an increased price on the commodity in which he deals, since otherwise he cannot provide himself with the necessaries of life; that, if the agriculturist does not thrive, the gentleman cannot receive his rents ;-that, if rents are not paid, taxes cannot be paid ;-that, if the taxes are unpaid, the stock-holder will look in vain for his dividend ;-that, if the stock. holder receives no interest, he has nothing to expend with the tradesman ;-- and that, if the tradesman be impoverished, he has nothing to pay the labourer. Such may be fairly supposed to be the natural operation of things; yet, according to the vulgar saying, “ There is reason in roasting of eggs;" and the people may be squeezed too much under an allowable prétext for squeezing them a little. With all the above admissions, therefore, this writer thinks that the protecting price of 8os. per quarter is too high, and that 729. ought to satisfy landlord and tenant, and will afford the people a quartern loaf at a reasonable cost.

The hint for the better protection of the poor consists of a proposal for extending the clause in 35 G. III. c. 101., which prohibits the removal of the poor until they become chargeable ; and certain


Art. 20.

cases are specified, in which it would be more wise and humane to afford them temporary relief than to remove them.

A Letter to William Wilberforce, Esq. M.P., on the Consequences of the unrestrained Importation of Foreign Corn. By John Edye, Esq. 8vo. 13. Longman and Co. 1815.

The motto to this pamphlet (Patria sit idoneus, utilis Agris,) is a sufficient indication of the side which this gentleman takes in the discussion relative to the corn-restrictions. Imbued with the principles of the preceding writers, he deprecates the consequences of an unrestrained importation ; and not only does he state that the result would be a surprising diminution of tillage, but he informs us that this effect has actually taken place, and that preparations for the wheatcrop are not made as they were some years ago. The doctrine which he sounds in our ears is that we cannot depend on importation, and he asserts that it is not in the power of importation to add a single bushel, on an average of years, to the whole quantity of corn within the country ;' meaning that we should lose” as much by the discouragement which the measure would throw on our own cultivation, as we should gain by the actual quantity afforded from abroad. Some truth may be found in this wholesale assertion : but it is too much to say that a vessel laden with corn is laden with the desolation of our own fertile fields ;' and that the very sparks that Ay from the tail of this destructive comet [importations are enough to burn up the prosperity of our country.' So averse is Mr. Edye from importation, which he styles a bounty to foreigners to cultivate their lands at our expence,' that he wishes the importation-price to be fixed so high as almost to amount to a prohibition, throwing the nation on its own resources. It is evident that this letter-writer places the subject in an exaggerated point of view. Surely, we may improve our own cultivation and yet avail ourselves of the superabundance of our neighbours. Extreme dearness leads to emigration. Art. 21.

Facts relative to the Corn-Laws, with Observations on them, as they affect the Industrious Classes, the Manufacturers, and the Public. By John Brickwood, jun. Esq. 8vo. PP. 94. Richardson. 1815.

On a foriner occasion, (see M. R. Vol. Ixxiv. N. S. p. 407.) Mr. Brickwood presented us with some remarks on this subject : but here he discusses it more at large, and places it in various interesting points of view. From Dr. Colquhoun's estimates of income, derived from various branches of national industry, Mr. B. endeavours to impress his readers with a conviction of the superior importance of agriculture ; enforcing the opinion of Dr. Adam Smith that, “ of all thę ways in which capital can be employed, this is by far the most advantageous to society:" Mr. B. is therefore pleased to find that, notwithstanding our increased population, we grew in the last two years, within ourselves, an abundant supply of corn ; and he attributes the application for inclosure-bills, (3199 having been passed in the present King's reign,) and the extension of tillage, to the high price of grain in particular years. The operation of taxes is regarded as beneficial rather than injurious to the community, and our internal pros




perity as such that the national debt is contemplated without alarm. - The public debt,' says Mr. B., is due, excepting only eighteen millions of it belonging to foreigners, to the individuals of the state; all the active classes of which, derive profit from the circulation within the state of the interest on the one hand, and of the taxes on the other; so as to form a material source of private prosperity. At the same time, it affords secure incomes to the capitalists of every rank, for their great convenience; and amongst the stockholders of every class of society, it serves to strengthen the chain of our common interest's.' To taxation, however, the advance of prices is attributed ;

and Mr. B. might have added the quantity of the circulating medium, though he does not seem inclined to admit this fact, since the quantity

money in the market, like the quantity of corn at Mark-Lane, must diminish its comparative value. On the subjects of bullion and paper-currency, we do not attach much importance to Mr. B.'s opinions. By the large amount of our public debt, an immense artificial capital is formed, the interest of which throws an additional quantity of money into the market ; and, without high prices, a sufficient sum would not be returned to the Bank by taxation, to supply the returning demands of the public creditor. Thus artificial wealth creates artificial dearness ; and, when the quantity of money in the market is great, prices will rise. It is more to the present purpose to regard the action and re-action of taxes on the expences of tillage, which have been nearly doubled in 23 years. Now, if these taxes remain, is it possible, Mr. B. asks, that the price of grain can be cheaper, and give a living profit to the grower; and how is it possible for the farmer to subsist, if corn be freely imported from countries in which it can be grown at little expence ? Various facts are adduced to prove that the depression of agriculture may be reckoned among our greatest misfortunes ; since, by the impoverishment of six millions and a half of customers, (the number of proprietors of land, and all persons engaged in agriculture,) our traders and manufacturers would sustain an incalcu. lable loss. Mr. B., therefore, is averse to that falling of the price of corn which would be the ruin of our farmers ; and he wishes us to consult their interest in preference to the foreign grower, being, above all things, solicitous to have within ourselves a supply of food equal to our consumption. If this be our object, none of our cultivated land must be thrown out of tillage: but a free importation must produce this effect, and therefore, to a certain extent, importation must be discountenanced. Mr. B. prefers a duty on corn to a restriction. He seems to have given the subject, in all its bearings, much attention : but we find that he was never engaged in the corn-trade, as we formerly surmised. -- If it be impossible to realize Thomson's idea of making Britain “th' exhaustless granary of the world,” it may be good policy to adopt measures which will enable her to supply her own granary: but, in considering whether the farmer can afford to sell his produce at a certain price, let us not forget to inquire how far the comsumer can afford to buy at that price: if we talk of the agriculturists being numerous, let us not forget that the consumers are so too; and, if we say that agri


38. 6d.

or less

culturists must adopt other measures if they cannot grow wheat, let us recollect that the consumers must be starved if they cannot buy it.

RELIGIOUS. Art. 22. The Excellency of the Liturgy : in four Discourses

preached before the University of Cambridge, in November 1811. By the Reverend Charles Simeon, M. A. Fellow of King's Col. lege, Cambridge. 8vo. Pp. III. Second Edition. Cadell and Davies.

In the first of these sermons, Mr. Simeon lays down a proposition, against which, on account of the serious consequences flowing from it, we must protest : viz. that the historical parts of the Old Testament were intended by God to serve as emblems of those deep mysteries which were afterwards to be revealed. We readily admit that certain portions of the Bible are susceptible of being allegorized, as St. Paul has allegorized the story of Sarah and Hagar (ctivá isw kramyogóueva) in the Epistle to the Galatians : but we deny that the historical parts were intended to be a series of emblems. If the first verse of Genesis, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” means any more than the plain fact asserted, it becomes a riddle rather than a re-velation, and all the absurdities of Emanuel Swedenbourg may be grafted on it.

In the second discourse, Mr. S. repeats his assertion of an hidden import concealed under the literal meaning of Scripture ; yet he purposes to employ the words of the text (Deut. v. 28, 29.) only : by way of accommodation : adding, the Liturgy of our Church was never in the contemplation of the sacred historian. He then enters on the professed design of his Lectures, which is * to vindicate the use of our Liturgy, to display its excellence, and to direct the attention to one particular part which he conceives to be eminently deserving of notice in that place.' Under what Mr. S. terms a

general vindication, he shews with much ability that it is lawful in itself - expedient for us--and acceptable to God;' after which he proceeds to notice some particular objections. The objection to the burial-service is well obviated, and placed in a proper point of view. As a general service, it breathes, as it ought, the spirit of love and charity; and over the grave it is best to believe and hope the best. We should be sorry if it were left to the discretion of the officiating minister to throw a black or a white ball into the grave, as he might think fit.-The reply to the objection urged against the word “ regeneration," in the baptism of infants, is not equally satisfactory : but this strong term is certainly neutralized in a great measure in the subsequent prayers ; yet Mr. Simeon must not be allowed to compare the case of a baptized infant with that of a convert in the days of the apostles. St. Paul may say of the latter, he who has been baptized into Christ has put on Christ, or made a profession of faith in Christ : but the infant cannot in this sense be said to have put on Christ. Mr. S., indeed, feels himself a little embarrassed; and, speaking the truth before God,' he adds :

• I do not mean, however, to say, that a slight alteration in two or three instances would not be an improvement; since it would take off a burthen from many minds, and supersede the necessity of laboured explanations: but I do mean to say, that there is no such objection to these expressions as to deter any conscientious person from giving his unfeigned assent and consent to the Liturgy altogether, or from using the particular expressions which we have been endeavouring to explain.'

To prove the unrivalled excellence of the Liturgy, the preacher, in his third sermon, displays • Its spirituality and purity - Its fulness and suitableness - Its moderation and candour. Here it is truly observed that it is not possible to read the Liturgy with candour, and not to see that the welfare of our souls is the one object of the whole ; and that the compilers of it had nothing in view, but that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in God, we should glorify his holy name.'

Though Mr. S. contends, and very properly, for the general moderation and candour of the Liturgy, he does not omit to bring forwards that striking exception to it, the Athanasian Creed : • The damnatory clauses contained in that Creed do certainly breathe a very different spirit from that which pervades every other part of our Liturgy. As to the doctrine of the Creed, it is perfectly sound, and such as ought to be universally received. But it is matter of regret that any should be led to pronounce a sentence of damnation against their fellow-creatures, in any case where God himself has not clearly and certainly pronounced it.' We wish that he had said no more, and had not attempted any sort of vindication j especially when, after much fruitless exertion, he is forced to lament that the damnatory clauses are retained. For though I do verily believe, that those who deny the doctrine of the Trinity are in a fatal error, and will find themselves so at the day of judgment, I would rather deplore the curse that awaits them, than denounce it; and rather weep over them in my secret chamber, than utter anathemas against them in the house of God.' This assertion proves that, if the author could have his choice, he would never read the Creed in its

An examination of the several parts of the Ordination-Service is undertaken in the last sermon. Here Mr. Simeon endeavours to soften down the meaning of being inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost ;and the candidate for holy orders, when he makes this profession, must be supposed to use it in nearly the same sense which the preacher affixes to it: but, after all, to be “ inwardly moved by the Divine Spirit," and to have a love to the souls of men,' are expressions of different import.

The eulogy which Mr. S. pronounces on the Liturgy is warm from the heart; and we unite with him in thinking that, as a deyotional composition intended for public use, it possesses pre-eminent merit. With him, however, we also feel the objections which he points out ; and we are surprized that so conscientious a preacher should not regard it as his bounden duty to recommend a revisal of


present form.

« AnteriorContinuar »