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the only course, in fact, which, if they felt their consciences aggrieved, they could consistently pursue, supposing them Christians and honest men. But they have now changed their tone. They have found out that certain saints of the olden time, while they complained of patronage, submitted to it nevertheless, rather than resign their interest in its loaves and fishes; and this happy discovery has, it appears, proved a sovereign remedy for the pangs of remorse. What unhallowed pretenders to godliness! Is conscience to be regulated by human example or authority? And will the sins even of a patriarch, of a prophet, or of an apostle, justify us in committing what conscience tells to be an infringement of the Divine law?
But the great day of the Assembly -the day most memorable both for its words and deeds-was Friday the 28th of May. On that day seven clergymen, members of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, in the Synod of Moray, were summoned to the bar as delinquents. The crime charged was disobedience to the mandates of the Assembly, a heavy offence, no doubt, had not these same mandates been at variance with all reason and justice. The case of the accused may be briefly stated thus:-Under nonintrusion influence the General Assembly had passed what they called a law of the church, which was in direct opposition to the law of the land, inasmuch as it encroached upon the rights of patrons, secured to them by act of parliament, and violated the compact which the church, at the foundation of its establishment, had entered into with the state. The law in question conferred upon the people, or rather a particular class of the people, of any parish, the power of rejecting, by a veto of the majority, without reason assigned, any individual whom, on a vacancy occurring, the patron might present to the ecclesiastical benefice. Now, by act of parliament, it had long ago been provided that no such rejection by the people could take place, but upon reasons assigned, and declared to be valid, by the presbytery, or on its sentence being appealed from, by the General Assembly, or supreme ecclesiastical court. The new law was carried into effect, nevertheless,
the Presbytery of Strathbogie, as well as other presbyteries, recognising it; and it soon appeared that the people were inclined to take advantage of it in a manner that would make the right of patronage nugatory. Soon after it came into operation, several instances of presentees to churches being rejected by the irresponsible veto of the parishioners occurred; and in one of these the aggrieved parties had recourse to the Court of Session, the supreme court judicatory of Scotland, for redress. That Court found for the pursuers, declared the new law of the Assembly to be contrary to the law of the land, and enjoined the ecclesiastical authorities to proceed in the case upon which this judgment was pronounced in accordance to the ancient practice. Upon this the General Assembly directed an appeal to be made to the House of Lords, which was accordingly done, and the result was a confirmation of the decision of the Court of Session. As no doubt of the illegality of the Veto-act, as it was called, could now remain, a presentee to a parish within the bounds of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, who had been rejected under it, applied likewise to the Court of Session, and obtained from it an injunction to the said presbytery to proceed forthwith to take the steps which, in accordance with the law of the land, would, if he was found qualified, terminate in his admission into the benefice. The presbytery were now placed between Scylla and Charybdis: in trying to escape from the one, it was impossible that they could avoid the other. If they disobeyed the Court of Session, they subjected themselves to heavy pains and penalties; a fine which might be ruinous, and imprisonment if they failed to pay. On the other hand, as the majority of the General Assembly, though they had appealed from the Court of Session to the House of Lords, and thereby fully acknowledged the authority of that tribunal to decide in the matter, resolved, on finding the decision against them, to adhere to their veto-law, notwithstanding the Presbytery of Strathbogie knew well that they would incur the displeasure of that majority, if they should obey the civil court. After mature and
anxious deliberation, however, they resolved—that is, a majority of seven of them resolved-to take the lastmentioned course, and proceed to the initiatory steps for the settlement of the presentee, whose application for redress to the Court of Session had brought upon them this crisis of difficulty and peril. No sooner was their determination known, than it brought down upon them a sentence of suspension of sacred functions from the commission of the General Assembly; which sentence, as being an act of open rebellion against the law of the land and the supreme courts, they very properly disregarded, and ordained and admitted in due form the presentee in question.
Such is a brief statement of their case, and such was the crime for which they were summoned to the bar of the last General Assembly. They disobeyed a domineering majority in the church, when that majority were resisting the law of the land; and they obeyed the law of the land when the majority in question could afford them no protection from the heavy punishment which the legal authorities had, in case of disobedience, the power to inflict. This was the amount of the crime they had committed-this was the "whole head and front of their offending" against the faction who rejoice in the name of Non-intrusionists, and style themselves the Church of Scotland.
Well, Friday the 28th of May arrives, the General Assembly is met, and the Strathbogie clergymen appear at its bar. One of their counsel makes a very eloquent appeal in their behalf; and having finished, "the man with the largest head in Europe." the "Demosthenes" of
pose than to make his audience aware that to his other mighty accomplishments he adds a knowledge of algebra. Well, he arrives at the conclusion that the case of the Strathbogie ministers is a problem which admits but of one answer; and so is not a cubic, or even a quadratic, but a very easy equation of the first degree. Then he goes into a disquisition on the difference between principle and expediency, -a very useless one, we should think, in addressing Non-intrusionists, who, if we may judge from their proceedings, seem about as capable of understanding what principle is, as a man born blind of comprehending the distinction between blue and yellow. Then he comes to shew that the guilt of the accused does not rest on the question whether the veto is a good or bad law who ever said that it did?— and introduces an illustration which would be an excellent good one, were it not that it has no more bearing upon the case of the Strathbogie ministers, than the case of the Strathbogie ministers upon the interruption of our trade with China. If France, he says, instigated persons in this country to resist any law passed by the British legislature, would it be regarded as any justification of the rebellion of these persons that the law was a bad one? Might not some Moderate have retorted the illustration thus? Ought it to be regarded as any justification of the Nons, that they resist the law of patronage on the ground of its being a bad one? But, in fact, the doctor was here merely indulging in a little twaddle, for ends best known to himself, as every one understood long ago that the guilt or innocence of the Strath
bogie ministers hinged entirely unon
GREECE AT THE BREAKING OUT OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR.*
"WE are told by the Father of History," says Mr. Mitchell, in his able introduction to the Acharnians, "that when Croesus, king of Lydia, was preparing to make war upon the mighty monarch of the East, and anxiously looking about for such assistance as might aid him in his perilous enterprise, he heard (it would seem for the first time) of two peoples on the opposite shore of Greece, the one of Doric, the other of Ionic race; the latter, with several minor states, submitting to a sort of supremacy on the part of the former." To this state, as preme, the Lydian king condes led to be courteous, as to an l; with it he condescended conclude a treaty, and from it to receive such succours as might demonstrate rather the good wishes than the power of his foreign ally. Before, however, these succours could arrive, the Lydian had been defeated by his all-powerful opponent, hardly rescued from a frightful death, and reduced to the condition of an humble follower of his conqueror. The sway over the entire East had passed into the hands of one king, and he the bravest, the most politic of his age; whilst Greece, once more neglected and despised, was bid to look at home, and beware how she interfered, even in words, with the will of The King. Pass
over but a few years, and how changed is the scene! Sparta, the former ally of the foreigner, holds herself aloof from the East, its temptations and its dangers; whilst Athens, by her hasty and ill-advised assistance of the Ionians in their revolt against the Persian, brings back on her own land all the horrors of an Eastern invasion, and involves the entire continent of Greece in the consequences of her indiscretion. And then with what rapidity do events hurry on! We pass from Sardis in flames, to the plains of Attica covered with the myriads of the East; from the well-foughten field of Marathon to the narrow pass of Thermopyla; from Athens, the fair, the beautiful, deserted and burnt, to the land-locked bay of Salamis, and the homeless Athenians commencing in that narrow sea the destruction of that host, which the battles of Platæa and Mycale completed. What would have been the Lydian captive's astonishment, as he humbly followed the footsteps of Cyrus, had some magic mirror disclosed to him the events which a few succeeding years were to bring to pass! Would he have credited that those two nations, of whose existence he had hardly so much as heard, would so soon be found measuring their strength with the Lord
History of Greece. By the Rev. Connop Thirlwall. Vol. VII. Longman and Co. London, 1840.
VOL. XXIV. NO. CXL.
of Asia; coping with that power before which he had fallen; defeating its countless myriads; and at last prescribing to its now submissive lord how far his vessels might be permitted to sail, beyond what limits they should not trespass, and within
what distance of the coast the horsemen of the king should dare to ride?
The stubborn patriotism of the younger of these two nations had achieved this great victory. Yes! to the eternal glory of Athens be it recorded, she, and she alone, was the deliverer of Greece! Had she once faltered, every thing must have gone down before the invader's power. It cannot be denied that, in the glorious struggle which freed Greece from the power of the Persian, almost the entire praise, not only of courage, but of nobleness, wisdom, and disinterestedness, lies on the side of Athens. The gratitude which she reaped was proportionate. And who can doubt but that gratitude would have been lasting-who can suppose that Greece would ever have forgotten what she owed to Athens, how true Athens had been to her, had Athens but have continued true to herself?
In the Peloponnesian war which followed so soon after the great conflict with the East, and which in our eyes seems to partake of the character of a civil contest, the wonderful and almost supernatural events of the preceding struggle are indeed wanting; but yet the stake is not less great; and the much-extended list of conflicting principles and interests, which are found to enter into the contest, supply the want of magnitude and grandeur of conquests, by the intensity of the feelings embarked in it.
Accustomed, as we very naturally are, to look with suspicion on
before us "in the bodily frame and substance of her glorious literature.” And yet such was not the feeling of those who were most interested in the event of the conflict-of the great body of the states of Greece at the outbreaking of the Peloponnesian war. Could they, by this time, have forgotten how noble, how courageous, how wise in purpose, how disinterested in execution, Athens had been during the earlier years of that arduous struggle with the Persian ? No; the conference with the King of Macedon, the heroic line of conduct which the Athenians then laid down for themselves, and from which they never swerved one iota, was yet fresh in their memory. Besides, the wisdom, the perseverance, the ability, which Athens had shewn in the concluding occurrences of that war, constituted far more recent claims of gratitude which she had on the states of Greece. And yet how frankly does the great historian of the Peloponnesian war admit, that at the outbreak of the conflict the preference of the great body of the states of Greece was decidedly with the Spartans!
Among the reasons which may be assigned for this preference, are those feelings of respect for superior birth and ancestral reputation (feelings too inherent in our hearts ever to be eradicated by the sharpest sayings of wits and satirists), which in those days exercised a very powerful influence over the affections of the men of Greece. Of the two races by whom the allegiance of the minor states was sought, they could not but admit that superiority, as well of descent as of ancestral reputation, lay on the side of Sparta. In the mythoheroic poems, the great Heraclide family enjoyed all that fame which mythic poetry can give, whilst the Athenians were com
rupted and unquestioned descent from the third generation in the new æra of mankind, to that which failed of tracing its origin beyond the fourth, and which was continually disgracing itself by creating false claims to higher antiquity. And when we know that all Greece looked upon the kings of Sparta as nearly allied to the great god of their land, and reverencing them before all created men then on earth, hesitated to strike them in the day of battle when the opportunity offered,t-how can we help admitting that the claims which were advanced by, and allowed to, Sparta, of superior descent, formed one, and very far from a weak cause, of the feelings of the states of Greece being so decidedly (raga xoλu) with the Spartans at the outbreaking of the Peloponnesian war?
pearance in his diary, for the benefit of Attic genealogists.* Mark, too, the studied care with which history was falsified, in order that the overproud title of Autochthones should be called in question as little as possible, and all traces of the forcible occupation of Attica and the foreign origin of the Eupatridæ might be obliterated. Consider how the vacant period between the times of the Erecththida and the Ægidæ was supplied with arbitrarily devised fables, and the interposition of Ion misrepresented in a thousand various ways; and how, even in later days, we find the popular poet, Euripides, assisting in the continuation of these falsehoods, and ingeniously altering the entire fable of Xuthus, so as to make it appear that Ion was no new-comer, but the legitimate descendant of the female branch of the Erecththidæ.† Why, then, all this craving after Autochthonic descent, this love of genealogies, this falsifying of records, among a people so entirely demoeratic? Was it not from the innate respect which always has been, and always will be, entertained, however they may seek to conceal it, by even the most democratic, for blood and birth? that natural assurance, which all must and do feel, that high birth is a guarantee for the cultivation of those virtues, without which it is rather a degradation than an honour-from that reliance which always has been, and always will be, placed on the honour of a nobleman and the word of a gentleman, equally with the oath of the ignoble, and preferably to that of the serf? But, besides all this, in the times of which we now are treating, the patriarchal right of the elder branch, not only to the respect, but also to the obedience
Grateful as the states of Greece must have been to Athens, not only for her conduct during the height of the Persian war, but also for the perseverance with which she carried on that war to its close, and rested not until she had eradicated every remnant of Eastern influence, as well in the isles of the Ægean and the coasts of Ionia, as on the continent of Greece,
willing as they were to concede to her the lead when the war became too remote and too naval for the Spartans, still they could not shut their eyes to the use to which the Athenians had converted the continuance of the war, and the ingenious and plausible methods by which they had rendered it so conducive to the gradual enlargement of their powers and their resources.
Again, we are assured by Aristotle that the origin of the plethocracy, or rather pantocracy, of the Athenian state, was to be dated from the suc