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greatness, tlie seeds of premature and
For the Monthly Magazine. ..
Is uniformity of' Religious Opinion dc~ limbic in the State y
These institutions are the products of enthusiasm; they are the instruments of wisdom. BuRKg.
IF hatfadozen paintrrswere employed to take a view of Saint Paul's Church, the one would place himself in front, and bring out its mnjestic vestibule; a second would include in his sketch the semicircular portal on the side; a third would choose his station behind, on the roofs of the houses, that nothing below might withdraw attention from the stately dome; a fourth would place himself at the ruins of the Albion-mill, that the coloss'ality of the cathedral might be rendered obvious from a comparison with surrounding objects: and others would select for delineation, a transverse or a longitudinal section of the inside. These imitation's, though differing widely from each other, mi^lit all be faithful alike, and executed with cqunl skill. Why should any patent or privilege, be given to the engraver of the second, or third, of these drawings, to vend exclusively his view of Saint Paul's? Let them all bd etched, and exposed to sale; the antiquary may prefer the one, the dilettante another, the architect a third, representation',
It » thuswith religion.—Every eminent teacher chooses a dilierent point of view. The Popish delineator of Christianity willingly withdraws from his devotees the discussion of doctrine, and aims at impressing the sentiments of the church by the arts of eloquence and music—of painting and sculpture. Hie Bucorist relies more on an industry addressed to the mind than to the senses; on the perpetual repetition of vernacular liturgies: his appeal is to a public of less taste, but of more literature. The Calvinist argues and terrifii s: his scripture is the law of God—his God a pitiless lawgiver ; and he corroborates by terrestrial excommunications the terrors of his threatened futurity: he allies himself with fear, the most prolilic parent of superstitions. The Unitarian trusts to the shortness of his creed, for its eventual adoption. So many more articles of religion are taught in the catechisms than are retained in the progress of enquiry, that a wish often supervenes in mid-life to be fettered with the fewest possible dogmas, and to sit under the teacher who exacts least of a positive creed. Why may not instructors of each description find an appropriate public, disseminate in that public a purer moral zeal, and a warmer activity of beneficence; and thus ripen a greater crop of national virtue, than could have been grown by any one of these four classes of teachers singly? On the supposition of an exclusive, or uniform, public religion, three out of the four denominations would want adapted guides.
The more closely human life is observed", the more it will be perceived, that all the different sects of Christianity have their several merits and excellencies—-their several defects and inconveniences: but to> suppose that there can be danger from any one of them, to the good order of society, and to the eventual happiness of mankind, is to blaspheme the founder of the religion. Sectsarise by selecting peculiar passages of Scripture for habitual attention: the emphatic texts of one society are insignificant phrases in the next conventicle. Hence it naturally happens that some sects carry one virtue, others another, to the highest practicable excellence; and it is well that men should addict themselves to those religious parties which enforce the line of conduct most adapted to their constitutional disposition; Thus they are more easily known. The philosophic sects of antiquity classed martkind conveniently: every one was award what conversation aud habits, and morals,
to to expect among the «t of men, whose acquaintance, naturally resulted from attaching oneself to the Platonic, the Stoic, or the Epicurean, sect. And is not the like observable in our different denominations of Christians?
Let th« man of fashion be a Catholic. It is the essence of fashion to fall in, it knows not why, with tin splendid ceremonial in use among the exalted, and to place vital perfection in exterior compliance. The catholic is the form of Christianity which has been found least unfavourable to the military spirit, and most indulgent to the genteeler foibles. It patronizes the fisheries, by its dietetic interference; and the fine arts, by its ostentatious delight in monuments of architecture, of sculpture, and of painting. But let not the et'tire multitude be catholic. It is a religion which operates in the manner of military discipline, so as to secure decency without reforming the inward man. Wherever the catholic populace have broken loose, they have exceeded, in a savage, cruel,and blood-thirsty spirit, the populace of any other sect; and'they are every where more idle and ignorant than their Protestant neighbours.
Let the magistrate he a Bucerist. Bucerism, or else a national establishment, favours religious indifference and political toryism. The members of the Church of England, in general, are apparently free from those anxieties of the soul, those mean selfish ambitious frettings about its future condition, which haunt and vex so large a portion .of the methodistical sect. They are, in general, inclined to lend the authority of their support to the ministers of the Crown, and to receive witha favouring prejudice all the measures of the government. Such predispositions adapt a justice of the peace to execute the laws with tolerance and alacrity. But let not the mass of citizens be Buccrists. That habitual antagonism to the party in power, which compels the discussion of all, and the modification of many, public acts, and whieii prevents still more abuses than it corrects, would want the requisite popular encouragement, if the inhabitants of our large towns were not in the main embodied under a priesthood less servile than the established clergy. The parliamentary friends of liberty, derive tlicir popular support almost entirely from dissenters.
Let the trader he a Calvinist. Austerity favours frugality ami industry. Calvinism, at least whore it is a sect, and nor, *J us Scotland, an establishment, seldom
attracts the higherciasses, or the very low. est class ; as it some degree of instruction and education were requisite to prepare the votary—as if a considerable decree of introduction and education unfitted hua again for this form of belief. It is often accompanied with a punctilious easclcsg behaviour, the result probably of a reciprocal inspection and vigilant controul, devised for purposes of moral discipline, and incorporated with the constitutions of their congregations. It is often accompanied also with an apparent gloom of mind, the result perhaps of an excessive use among their teachers of terrific denunciations ; but which to a mere by-stan. der might suggest the idea of secret remorse, or worldly embarrassment; and thus tend to afreet the moral or pecuniary credit of these children of dejection. Such melancholies are apt to fly for relief to sottlshne«s. Still the Calvinists, in general, are seen to be industrious, provident, continent, neat, hospitable, but in other respects frugal, loth to military service, lovers of justice, of order, and of civil liberty. These are qualities, on the whole, desirable in the numerous class of tradesmen : it seems easier toincreasa their happiness than their utility.
Other sects are insufficiently vast to be appreciated in the gross. One cannot yet decide whether the Sociniansowe the meritorious qualities by which they are distinguished, to their station in society, or to the influence of their favourite writers. Unitarianisin is not yet vulgarized ; but from the recent reports of the Anti-trinitarinu missionaries, it may be suspected that, in proportion us the sect gains ground among the vulgar, it will have to adopt something of the cant, the bigotry, and thezeal, for positive opinions, which commonly characterize the vulgar. The Italian and Polish Unitarians appeared, whiie the sect was new, to aim at allying tiie splendid ritual of Rome with the simple creed of theism, and to aspire at blending the taste of the Catholic, the principle of the Calvinist, and the liberality bf the philosopher. But notwithstanding the conventions of noblemen held at Vicenznand at Cracow, the Unitarian party could no where attain the ascendancy, either in the dukedoms of Italy, or in the republic of Poland. The educated and ambitious ranks gradually slid hack through unbelief to conformity ; the forsaken multitude was classed with fanatic Anabaptists, and squeezed, between contempt and oppression, into inactive insignificance. As Socuiianism is peculiarly the reverse of a
mystical mystical sect, it must be favourable to the evolution of the reasoning faculty, and is therefore perhaps suicidal. In Holland, and elsewhere, it died out less from refutation, or persecution, than front internal causes.
The merely philosophic sects have also their use. Teachers of ihis persuasion have been very efficacious in resisting vatious pernicious moral prejudices, which have occasionally resulted from excessive attachment to the sacred bonk-,. The attempts of the Anabaptists to introduce community of goods, of the Quakers.to abolish military service, of the Calvinists to extinguish fornication, of the Catholics to torture and burn alive for heresy, have been got under, not by the arguments of theology,but by those of philosophy.There is a reciprocity of merality necessary in the external relations of states, to which Scripture is less plastic than reason. Hence every civilized society has found it expedient to keep alive an illuminated sect,lifted either by pride or science.above all the forms of popular credulity. In many churches of the once Lutheran provinces of Germany, the atiti-supei naturalist Christianity of the professors F.iclihorn and Paulus has lately been brought to anchor on the sacred books. In China, the religious establishment of the country is habitually engaged in a like hostility against nil the forms of superstition. Vet in Germany, as in China, to a large body of the people, such opinions are unwell cemely licentious.
Nor are the Jews undeserving an appropriate and limited patronage. They have, indeed, some usages which interfere with sociability, and which are necessarily an impediment to that neighbourly intercourse with Christians, which would tend to efface reciprocal dislikes. Such are their notions about diet. In early and ignorant communities, it is expedient to teach the essential arts of life in the laws. We have statutes which direct how to brew, and how to bake, and which render criminal a departure from the national recipe. We have also Inws about fish and butcher's meat, which resist the sale and use of unwholesome food. The Jews have many such laws, which divide animals into clean and unclean, or, as the words ought to be rendered, into wjiolesinie and unwholesome. The Jews wish to keep theirsabbalh on the seventh day; but, since the alteration of the calendar, they, in fact, keep it wrung, and might as well keep it on the Sunday. The.Jews
encourage among their children a predilection for some occupations, which are necessarily held in disrepute; such as pedlary, frippery, pawn-broking, and usury. A pedlar will always appear to be a cheat, because he must always charge hi,her than a stationary shopkeeper. In addition tu the regular profit of the retailer, he must he paid for the porterage of his wares from door to door, and for the time Inst in fruitless,applications. Frippery will always be held somewhat offensive. The man who sells his cast-off clothes instead of giving them away, is ashamed of the avarice or penury which that implies; he dislikes therefore to see his fripperer, which reminds him of a meanness. Pawn* broking is regulated by law ; it is often an honest and useful employment, and might be a most humane and generous occupation: but it can never be an honourable one. A sense of shame inevitably haunts the man who pledges his watch, or the woman who pawns a cloak, to relieve the necessities even of a sick child. Usury is odious: not merely because the lawgiver has idly made it a crime, but because, in all cases of bankruptcy, those persons who have received exorbitant interests for their advances, appear to be the only persons benefited at the expense of more scrupulous creditors. In all these branches of commerce, and other such might be enumerated, the nature nf the employment tends to excite a feeling of disgust, which is improperly transferred to the Jewish people, because it happens that they frequently exercise such employments. By preferring for their children the more respectable lines of business, hostile prejudices would abate; but society would still -be compelled to seek out other persons for this division of labour. And to whatever individuals it be consigned, moral instruction and admanition is surely expedient.
If so many forms of sectarism can strike root in a given community with obvious advantage to the whole, why should they not be all alike favoured by the.magistrate? They would then severally be embraced by the adapted converts, and prevail every wherein the desirable proportions. The charities of tolerance abound most where piety has, many shapes. Moral competition, and general instruction, is increased by the variety of sects.
And why should they not be suffered to ramify within, as well as without, tlte national thutch?
Suppose the Act of Uniformity repealed.—A duke of Grafton might then present the benefices of which he has the adv owson to his Unitarian chaplains. A lord Petre might bestow similar preferment on eminent catholics—on a Geddes, or a Milner. If the Jew-banker Gold-' smicl acquired with his estate a vacant presentation, he might allow the tythe of his parish to a rabbi. Mr. Wilberforce could confer livings on his evangelists; and lord Sheffield on a disciple of Gibbon. God keeps many religious, said the Gothic kinj Theodoric, why should not we? The effects of this change could not but be advantageous. Every sect, inasmuch as it had converted to its persuasion the property of the country, would acquire a share of the advowsons, and station itself in the national church, A co-establishment Qf all religions would be accomplished, in which each would have an extent of influence equitably proportioned to the wealth of its votaries. A considerable comprehension of dissenters would immediately result; and with the wish and power to acquire the use and property of the established temples,an altered feeling, the harbinger of coustitutional loyalty, would pervade all the ancient separatists. The danger which the Greek empire formerly, and which our own country lately, incurred,ut' finding among its schismatics a pernicious foreign faction, would cease with the intolerance of the magistrate, which both there and here occasioned that incalculable evil. The chieftains, not only of the embodied, but of the literary, •acts, finding the ecclesiastic order open to them unconditionally, and without any subscribed definitions of opinion, would more generally embrace it: and all classes of public instructors, the men of letters and science, tne poets and artists, might be conveniently patronized out' of the tevenues of the hierarchy. Thus, all sects, popular ami philosophic, would acquire it common interest in the preservation of such a church, am) would join in a chorus of Etta perpetuu!
The patronage of the sovereign would remain as at present in point of amount; but as the number of claimants on public grounds would be increased, more of that patronage would be given to merit, and less to favouritism. The right of presenting prebends to laymen already resides in the Crown—Camden laving been rewarded for his literury exertions by queen Elizabeth with a prebendal stall. A repeal of the Act of Uniformity would, in fact, extend this ri^ht ol lay
patronage indefinitely: anrl surely the patriotic statesman, instead of making a new pension for every new exertion, ought to hold it better to divert into an usefut channel some of those preferments whicb, are become superfluous to the encouragement of theological literature, and wind* only operate as bounties for advocating the cause of ecclesiastic monopoly and intolerance. Without burdening afresh the people, the means would thus exist of recompensing rheir real illustrators and benefactors: the mighty machine,erected by the efforts of n barbaric superstition, would retain its energies unimpaired, but be employed in diffusing the lessons of civilization, and in remunerating the toils of unbiassed learning and creative genius.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine*
AS I believe no description of Alderley Edge in Cheshire, and the . Cobalt Mine lately discovered there, has yet been published, perhaps the inclosed account may be acceptable to your rerfriers.
Aldcrley Edge is an eminence sitaated about five niiljs west from Macclesfield, from, which place the road rises by an almost imperceptible ascent through narrow sandy lanes; the sand chiefly of a reddish-brown colour: so very gradual is the rise, that when you approach the western side declivity, which is much steeper, you are astonished with the vast extent of country which at once opens upon the sight. The whole plain of tlie county of Cheshire, with a part of Lancashire, stretching from the feet of the Derbyshire' and Yorkshire hills to the sea: the' pastures, woodc, and villages, the towns of Stockport and Manchester, the distant smoke of the city of Chester, with the blue mountains of Wales on the horizon, form part of the fentures of the scene. On the eastern side rise the Derbyshire and Yorkshire hills, which are part of the central range that passes through these counties. The whoie prospect comprises a scene of extensive and varied magnificence, which can. scarcely be equalled in the kingdom. After a month's residence amongst the mines and naked mountains of the High Peak, a sudden view of so much fertility and grandeur was peculiarly ex. hilarating anil delightful. The hill on which I stood is low, compared with most of our secondary hills: but being detached from the central range, and advanced siver.il miles towards the plains
•f of Cheshire, there is nothing to obstruct the view from thence to the Irish sen. iiut this place is an object of more interest to the mineralogist than the picturesque tourist: in the space of a few acres, he may be presented with ures of must of the metals found in England, but placed in such situations, and presenting such appearances, as arc rarely to be seen elscwere. The hill is evidently of alluvial formation, being composed chiefly of gravel, and soft white and reddish sand-stone ; the white is intermixed with founded quartz pebbles, the red with particles of mica. Iu some parts the red and white sand-stone assume a nearly stratified appearance; in others, the red stone intersects the white in very thin seams, branching in various directions. In the white sand-stone are found various ores of lend, as small portions of compact galena ; and the same in a granular state intermixed with sand-stone. In other places, particles of blue and brown ore were collected in nodules of various sizes, and imbedded along with pebbles in the sand-rock, like currants in a pudding. The black ore or earth of lead, is here met with; and the carbonate or white ore; bujt intermixed, like the others, with sand-stone. These ores do not lie in regular veins, horizontally or vertically inclined, but are found in masses, or intersecting and mixing with the sandstone and pebbles. In some few places tbere are appearances of a regular vein, in which there are seams of cawk interspersed between the sand-rock and the ore; hut these appearances are soon lost, and the vein is broken oil' and thrown into a state of confusion. The cawk* is also mixed with quartz pebbles. These ores are found in considerable quantities, and smelted at the place, but they are in general poor in quality. Copper ore was formerly got here in large quantities, as appears by the scoria: or slagg which remains. The works have been discontinued during nearly forty years. The copper was taken to Macclesfield; and, with calamine from Derbyshire, made into brass at that place. Last summer an attempt was made again to get the ore, and a furnace erected for reducing it. I was there the day after the trial, which had not succeeded, owing to the poorness of the ore, and want of skill
i * I regret that I did not examine this substance more particularly ; I suspect it to contain baroselcnite and itii soar, like the uwk •I Derbyshire.
in the persons employed. I could dis. cent the presence ot copper in smalt streaks in the product, by the assistance of a lens, and also oft the irons Employed to stir the ore when in fusion. The copper ores are found intermixed with those of lead, lying in the confused state I have described. Something like a regular vein was opened lust summer, its direction nearly vertical, its width about three feet, with a floor of cawk inter, posed between the ore and the rock on one side; the other was united with the sand-rock. The ore, as if was culled, was of a reddish-brown colour, extremely hard, with quartz pebbles imbedded within it. Neither its specific gravity, nor appearance, gave indication of the presence of copper. On trial, I found it precipitated that metal upon iron from a nitrous solution. It is more properly an iron-stone combined with copper pyrites, than an ore of copper: it contains very little of the latter metal. The most remarkable production of the place is cobalt ore, which was very recently discovered here, existing in the red sand. stone. It had long been unnoticed or employed in mending the ronds, until a miner, who bad worked upon the Continent, and seen the cobalt ores of Saxony, first discovered it in the estate of a gen* t lei on u in the neighbourhood. The attention of the tenants of the Alder Icy Mines was then directed to the subject, and the Cobalt mines were let for one thousand pounds per annum, to a company near Ponteliact, in Yorkshire. The proprietor of Aldcrley Edge is Sir I. T. Stanley, bart. whose grounds and seat are in its immediate vicinity. The ores of cobalt, so valuable to the manufacturers of porcelain and paper, are very scarce in this island. They have been found in small quantities in Cornwall, chiefly of the kind called grey cobalt ore, which contains cobalt combined with iron and arsenic. The ore at Alderley is the black cobalt ochre of mineralogists. It is in the form of grains, of a bluishblack colour. The best specimens in colour and appearance, resemble grains of gunpowder, disseminated in red sandstone, or lying in thin seams between the stone, which has a shistose or slaty fracture. It lies from, eight to ten yards under the surface, and is got out in thin pieces, and separated afterwards as much as possible from the stone; it is then packed in tubs, and sent near Posted act, where it is manufactured into Miujt, Au-udct the confusion of mineral substances