On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
such as they arc , of , the subject of his observations . It may be true , ( and it is a consolatory circumstance that it should be true , ) that the improved tone of society and moral feeling was the main cause wh y Buonaparte was incomparably more estimable ( we should rather say less mischievous ) thftn a Sylla , a Caesar , or an Augustus ; but the writer must , we think , be blinded by his zeal or his eloquence , who sees no redeeming features in the personal character of
Buonaparte ; who can even seek to disparage his victories by describing them as accidents ; impute his public improvements merely to the promotion of military objects ; dispute , in the face of facts notorious to all the world , his powerful and personal share in the formation of the code which bears his name ; and dispose of every thing praiseworthy or useful in his character or institutions , by ascribing it to some crooked gratification of policy or vanity .
Art . XI . —Considerations on the Danger of any Legislative Alteration respecting the Corporation and Test Acts , &c . &c . By the Rev . Stephen Hyde Gassan , M . A . A Letter to the , Kinsr against the Repeal of the Test Act . By a Tory of the Old School .
. If it were too much to hope that the forbearance so generally manifested by the bishops and clergy of the Establishment towards the now pending bill for tire abolition of the Sacramental Test should have been universal , it is , at all events , matter of congratulation both for the enlightened members <> f the church and the Dissenters , that the tocsin of alarm has been sounded by personages not more influential in the ecclesiastical
world than the latrant and latitant editors of John Hull , or the Rev . Mr . Caasuu , and this nondescript "Tory of the Old School . " We do not propose to inflict upon our readers any detailed notice of Mr . Cassan ' a declamatory tirade , which , interlarded copiously with classical scraps , may , by bare possibility , pas * for cogent argument with such of his readers as ,
like himself , have travelled little into any field of literature , except that prescribed by their college studies . But there is one blunder so gross , and ' so ludicrously made prominent by the author , that it is . fitting he should hear a little of the indignant hisses of the -intelligent public , and feel the recoil of his miserable attempt to charge the highly-respected seconder of
Lord John Russell ' s motion with disgraceful ignorance , or with " logical fraud . " Mr . Cassan . ( p . 11 ) very profoundly remarks , that " however great the candour—however conscientious the motives—however lively the zeal of those who would annihilate every safeguard of the church , it is impossible they can arrive at any thing like a right codelusion
on this or any other subject , till the subject itself be properly understood and clearly denned . " Then , after alluding to the ignorant vehemeuce of the rabble at Ephesus , ( an allusion which instinctive respect for his archetypes , the shrinemakers- of Diana ' s venerable establishment , might have withheld , ) our author proceeds to " open the eyes of the
public , ' by a luminous reading upon the Corporation and Test Acts , the effect of which has , it seems , been strangely mistaken , not by Mr . J . Smith alone , but by all our legislators and lawyers . After stating the sacramental clause in the Corporation Act ; he observes , with a
digital emphasis peculiar to himself , ' * This Act affects Separatists , " thereby meaning , as the context shews , Protestant Dissenters , and not Catholics , He then sagaciously discovers that the avoidance of the office is neither penalty nor grievance , and that because Lord John Russell alluded to Hume ' s omission of
this clause in his history , in illustration of his Lordship ' s positiou that the clause was adventitious and not in accordance with the leading design of the Act , the Noble Mover must be understood to stultify himself by admitting the unimportance of the clause in its actual operation . But when our author proceeds to
the Test Act , which he actually quote . " , ( p . 15 , ) he exclaims in a tone of overwhelming triumph , " This Act affects Papists , and of it the Dissenters liave nothing to complain !"—that Mr . J . Smith is " utterly incorrect in stating that Dissenters are oppressed by this latter Act : " and after a whimsical distortion and
misconception of Mr Smith ' s remarks respecting the tremendous incapacities denounced by the Act , he repeats , that ' < Mr . Smith has got out of his latitude , for all these penalties are attached not to the Dissenters but to the Papists , and are to be found not in the Corporation
but in the Test Act ; therefore all this doleful ditty is utterly irrelevant . " We recommend Mr . Cassan , when he next volunteers air exposition of any part of the statute-book , to read us well as quote the Act , and to distinguish between historical evidence as to the design of any measure , and its actual effect and opera -
Critical Notices . 341
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1828, page 341, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2560/page/53/