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Faithful to logic, and to its theory, my work did not shrink from applying them to the crucial case of the Irish Church. It did not disguise the difficulties of the case, for I was alive to the paradox which it involved. But the one master idea of the system, that the State, as it then stood, was capable in this age
as it had been in ages long gone by — of assuming beneficially a responsibility for the inculcation of a particular religion, carried me through all. My doctrine was, that the Church, as established by law, was to be maintained for its truth; that this was the only principle on which it could be properly and permanently upheld; that this principle, if good for England, was good also for Ireland; that truth is of all possessions the most precious to the soul of man; and that to remove
as I then erroneously thought we should remove — this priceless treasure from the view and the reach of the Irish people, would be meanly to purchase their momentary favor at the expense of their permanent interests, and would be a high offense against our own sacred obligations.
These, I think, were the leading propositions of the work. In one important point, however, it was inconsistent with itself: it contained a full admission that a State might, by its nature and circumstances, be incapacitated from upholding and propagating a definite form of religion : “ There may be a state of things in the United States of America — perhaps in some British colonies there does actually exist a state of things — in which religious communions are so equally divided, or so variously subdivided, that the government is itself similarly checkered in its religious complexion, and thus internally incapacitated by disunion from acting in matters of religion; or, again, there may be a State in which the members of Government may be of one faith or persuasion, the mass of subjects of another, and hence there may be an external incapacity to act in matters of religion.”
The book goes on to describe that incapacity, however produced, as a social defect and calamity. But the latter part of the work, instead of acknowledging such incapacity as a sufficient and indeed commanding plea for abstention, went beyond the bounds of moderation, and treated it as if it must in all cases be a sin; as though any association of men, in civil gpvernment or otherwise, could be responsible for acting beyond the line of the capabilities determined for it by its constitution and composition. My meaning, I believe, was to describe only cases in which there might be a deliberate renunciation of such duties as there was the power to fulfill. But this line is left too obscurely drawn between this willful and wanton rejection of opportunities for good, and the cases in which the state of religious convictions, together with the recognized principles of government, disable the civil power from including within its work the business of either directly or indirectly inculcating religion, and mark out for it a different line of action.
I BELIEVE that the foregoing passages describe fairly, if succinctly, the main propositions of “The State in Its Relations to the Church," so far as the book bears upon the present controversy. They bound me hand and foot; they hemmed me in on every side. My opinion of the Established Church of Ireland is now the direct opposite of what it was then. I then thought it reconcilable with civil and national justice; I now think the maintenance of it grossly unjust. I then thought its action was favorable to the interests of the religion which it teaches; I now believe it to be opposed to them. .
An establishment that does its work in much, and has the hope and likelihood of doing it in more; an establishment that has a broad and living way open to it into the hearts of the people; an establishment that can command the services of the present by the recollections and traditions of a far-reaching past; an establishment able to appeal to the active zeal of the greater portion of the people, and to the respect or scruples of almost the whole; whose children dwell chiefly on her actual living work and service, and whose adversaries — if they have them — are in the main content to believe that there will be a future for them and their opinion :- such an establishment should surely be maintained.
But an establishment that neither does nor has the hope of doing work except for a few — and those few the portion of the community whose claim to public aid is the smallest of all; an establishment severed from the mass of the people by an impassable gulf, and by a wall of brass; an establishment whose good offices, could she offer them, would be intercepted by a long, unbroken chain of painful and shameful recollections; an establishment leaning for support upon the extraneous aid of a State, which becomes discredited with the people by the very act of lending it:—such an establishment will do well for its own sake, and for the sake of its creed, to divest itself as soon as may be of gauds and trappings, and to commence a new career, in which,.renouncing at once the credit and the discredit of the civil sanction, it shall seek its strength from within, and put a fearless trust in the message that it bears.
ANTICIPATIONS FOR THE CAURCH OF ENGLAND.
(From "Church Principles in their Results.") And here I close this review of the religious position of the Church of England under the circumstances of the day (1840]: of course not venturing to assume that these pages can effect in any degree the purpose with which they are written, of contributing to her security and peace; but yet full of the most cheerful anticipations of her destiny, and without the remotest fear either of schism among her children, or of any permanent oppression from the State, whatever may befall the State herself. She has endured for ten years, not only without essential injury, but with a decided and progressive growth in her general influence as well as in her individual vigor, the ordeal of public discussion, and the brunt of many hostile attacks, in a time of great agitation and disquietude, and of immense political changes. There was a period when her children felt no serious alarms for her safety : and then she was in serious peril. Of late their apprehensions have been violently and constantly excited; but her dangers have diminished: so poor a thing, at best, is human solicitude. Yes, if we may put any trust in the signs that are within her and upon her if we may at all rely upon the results of the patient and deliberate thought of many minds, upon the consenting testimony of foes and friends - the hand of her Lord is over her for good, to make her more and more a temple of His spirit and an organ of His will. Surely He will breathe into her anew, and more and more, the breath of life, and will raise up in her abundantly power in the midst of weakness, and the sense of power in the midst of the sense of weakness : — of weakness in so far as she is an earthen vessel ; of power inasmuch as He is a heavenly treasure abiding therein. The might that none can withstand, the wisdom that none can pierce, the love that none can fathom, the revelation of truth whose light faileth not, the promise that never can be broken: - those are the
pillars of her strength whereon she rests, we may trust, not more conspicuous by their height than secure upon their deep foundations.
THE HOMERIC VIEW OF THE FUTURE STATE.
(From "Juventus Mundi.") The picture of the future state of man in Homer is eminently truthful as a representation of a creed which had probably fallen into dilapidation, and of the feelings which clustered about it: and it is perhaps unrivaled in the perfectly natural but penetrating force with which it conveys the effect of dreariness and gloom. It does not appear to be in all respects coherent and symmetrical; and while nothing betokens that this defect is owing to the diversity of the sources from which the traditions are drawn, it is such as might be due to the waste wrought by time and change on a belief which had at an earlier date been selfconsistent.
The future life, however, is in Homer used with solemnity and force as a sanction of the moral laws, especially in so far as the crime of perjury is concerned. The Erinnues dwell in the Underworld, and punish perjurers. As the Erinnues are invoked with reference to other offenses, we may therefore presume them also to have been punishable in the Underworld. The world to come is exhibited to us by Homer in three divisions :
1.- There is the Elysian Plain, apparently under the government of Rhadamanthus, to which Menelaos will be conducted -or rather, perhaps, translated in order to die there; not for his virtues, however, but because he is the husband of Helen, and so the son-in-law of Zeus. The main characteristic of this abode seems to be easy and abundant subsistence, with an atmosphere free from the violence of winter, and from rain and
Okeanos freshens it with zephyrs; it is therefore apparently on the western border of the world. Mr. Max Müller conjectures that Elysiam (dubov) may be a name simply expressing the future. The whole conception, however, may be deemed more or less ambiguous inasmuch as the Elysian state is antecedent to death.
II. - Next comes the Underworld proper - the general receptacle of human spirits. It nowhere receives a territorial name in Homer, but is called the abode of Aïdes, or of Aïdes
and Persephone. Its character is chill, drear, and dark; the very gods abhor it. Better serve for hire, even for a needy master, says the Shade of Achilles, than to be lord over the Dead. It reaches, however, under the crust of the earth ; for in the “ Theomachy," Aidoneus dreads lest the earthquake of Poseidon should lay open his domain to gods and men. Minos administers justice among the dead as a king would on earth. But they are in general under no penal infliction. Three cases alone are mentioned as cases of suffering: those of Tituos, Tantalos, and Sisuphos. The offense is only named in the case of Tituos; it was violence offered to the goddess Leto. Heracles suffers a strange discerption of individuality; for his Eidolon or “Shade," moves and speaks here, while he himself is at the banquets of the Immortals.” Again Castor and Pollux are here, and are alive on alternate days, while they enjoy on earth the honors of deities. Here, then, somewhat conflicting conditions appear
to be combined. Within the dreary region seems to be a palace, which is in a more special sense the residence of its rulers. The access to the Underworld is in the far East, by the Ocean River, at a full day's sail from the Euxine, in the country of the cloud-wrapped Kimmerioi. From this point the way lies, for an indefinite distance, up the Stream, to a point where the beach is narrow, and where Persephone is worshiped in her groves of poplar and of willow.
III. — There is also the region of Tartaros, as far below that of Aïdes as Aïdes is below the earth. Here dwell Iapetos and Kronos, far from the solar ray. Kronos has a band of gods around him, who have in another place the epithet of sub-Tartarean, and the name of Titans. It does not appear whether these are at all identified with the deposed dynasty of the Nature-power, whose dwelling is in the Underworld, and with whom the human Dead had means of communication ; for Achilles charges the Shade of Patroclos with a communication to the river Sphercheios.
The line, therefore, of communication between the realm of Aïdes and the dark Tartaros is obscurely drawn; but in general we may say that, while the former was for men, the latter was for deposed or condemned Immortals. We hear of the offenses of Eurumedon and the Giants with their ruler; and though their place is not named, we may presume them, as well as Otos and Ephialtes, to be in Tartaros, in addition to the deities already named. Hither it is that Zeus threatens to hurl down refractory