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AN ERROR OF MODERN INDEPENDENCY.

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contract them by pressure, that the largest among them should not give space for more than a thousand people. So long as our onepastor system is continued, no place should be on a larger scale, if pastoral oversight is to be anything more than a name. Three-fourths of our places would be large enough, if not adapted to receive more than from five to seven hundred.

The effect of this state of things would be, that no popular minister would need be apprehensive as to having a sufficient congregation. The congregations would naturally be more numerous, and with less disparity between them, there would be less. of inquietude and rivalry. With the increase of congregations there would, of course, be an increased strength in the ministerial staff. In this way strength would have place where it ought to be found at the great centres of our population; and the strength augmenting at the centres could not fail to make itself felt in a thousand ways at the extremities. Much might be said about the demand made by such places on the physical strength of the preacher; about their tendency to destroy all natural speaking, by necessitating, in the case of most men, an unnatural straining of the voice; and also about the chances which such places supply of feud and scandal, when the one man, for whom the structure has been raised, has to give his place to another. But these are light evils compared with those we have enumerated, So long as our system shall be a one-pastor system, so long every great chapel must be, in its working and history, a great evil.

As to those who may be ready to fasten on these admissions, and to proclaim them against us as vices of Independency, it shall be sufficient to say, that English Independency is what it is, notwithstanding these drawbacks; that the evils complained of exist only partially, even in our large towns; and that they are evils which have not come from anything inherent in congregationalism, but from the errors and practical oversight of congregationalists. It is admitted, however, that, speaking generally, English Independency, while possessing a considerable measure of the aggressive spirit, is not so aggressive as it should be, bearing in mind the extent of the means of usefulness which Providence has placed at its disposal.

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ART. IX.-(1.) Progress of Russia in the West, North, and South. By

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DAVID URQUHART. Trübner & Co.

1853.

(2.) Russia: its Crimes and Plots. By a Russian.

(3.) The Czar and the Sultan; ADRIAN GILSON. Vizetelly. (4.) Turkey Past and Present.

Allen. 1853.

or, Nicholas and Abdul Medjid. By 1853.

By FRANCISQUE BOURET, late Representative. Translated by J. HUTTON. Clarke, Beaton, & Co. 1853.

(5.) The Greek and the Turk. By E. E. CROWE. Bentley. 1853. (6.) Revelations of Russia. Colburn. 1844.

(7.) Secret History of the Court and Government of Russia.

SCHNITZLER. Bentley. 1847.

By J. H.

1853.

(8.) Russian Turkey. By G. P. D. Saunders & Stanford. (9.) The Times Newspaper, 14th and 15th October, 1853. (10.) The Portfolio: a Collection of State Papers. Ridgway. 1835, 1837. (11.) Le Portfolio. Paris: Truchy et Le Doyen. 1836, 1837.

In our last number, we addressed ourselves at some length to the Russo-Turkey question,* in the hope we regret to say, the vain hope that this vexed subject would be satisfactorily settled before the winter commenced. But although, to use the grotesque, yet expressive language of the late Viscount Castlereagh, that question has been dangling about the councils of the nation' for now full nine months; yet on this first day of November, the prospects of a satisfactory settlement are nearly as remote as they were at the end of February or the beginning of March in the present year. The country, which was at first anxious, has now become agitated and uneasy. Commercial, monetary, and financial operations have been greatly deranged -enterprises of 'great pith and moment,' have suffered-and vent has been given to the public discontent at several numerously-attended public meetings, convened, nevertheless, at a time when the reading and influential men appearing at halls and platforms, are generally absent from the mart and the Exchange, and those other places of public resort, where those deeply interested in the public weal most do congregate. The anxiety on the question far from diminishing, increases with each new delay; and, at the period when we pen these lines, has attained a state of painful and dangerous tension. Under these circumstances, and considering, moreover, the great importance of the question internally and externally-not merely in reference to our trade and commerce, but on the relations of Russia and

*See August, p. 227.

MR. URQUHART'S HISTORY.

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Turkey with Europe, and the world, we deem it our bounden duty not to omit this opportunity of again recurring to a theme which is of palpitating interest to the statesman and to the politician-to the commercial man and manufacturer, and not less so to the philosopher and philanthropist anxious for the progress and improvement of his species, for the diffusion of light and liberty, and the blessings that follow in the train of freedom and civilization.

The work which we have placed at the head of this article is in many respects a remarkable, and in all respects a curious production. The name of Mr. Urquhart ought, by this time, to be pretty well known in all parts of England, considering the number of pamphlets he has published, the fragments of works he has sketched, the number of speeches he has made at public meetings, and the singular doctrines he has occasionally promulgated;-yet, so immersed are men in all parts of this busy island in the pursuits of industry, and the worship of Mammon, that we doubt that there are many beyond those who have paid a special attention to topics connected with Russia and Turkey, who know much of a gentleman who, notwithstanding the eccentricity of some of his opinions, is well entitled to a hearing on questions connected with Turkey and Russia. Mr. Urquhart is a man of a respectable-indeed, we believe, of an ancient Scottish family-for he claims to be chief of the clan of Urquhart of Cromarty, and is now verging on, if he has not already attained, his fiftieth year. He was educated at St. John's College, Oxford, and, after travelling some time in the East, where he acquired considerable stores of information, was appointed Secretary of Embassy at Constantinople in 1837, then being of the mature age of five or six and thirty, without ever having previously been attached to any embassy, or having gone through those intermediate grades generally deemed indispensable in that mysterious hierarchy, in which interest, routine, and favouritism have too long ruled. The appointment of a man who had never been a précis writer or attaché, paid or unpaid, was, at the time, lauded by diplomatic reformers, who knew nothing of Mr. Urquhart but that he had given his mind to the consideration of questions connected with the government, trade, and resources of Turkey, and it was, by them and others, augured that a new and a better era was about to open on old jog-trot diplomacy. But these hopes proved fallacious. From causes into which it is unnecessary to enter, Mr. Urquhart and his superiors did not work harmoniously together, and he was ultimately relieved of the public charge to which he had been appointed, after no very

point? The ministers insist that their judgment-their conscientious judgment in respect to it, should be held sacred. But to the impartial men of this class we feel constrained to put a question or two. Did it never occur to you, as a matter of very doubtful propriety, that you should be allowed to be the judgesthe sole judges, after this manner, in your own cause? Did it never occur to you, as a fact of deep significance-suggesting at least the possibility of error-that on this point the judgment of all Protestant Christendom is against you? Have you duly weighed that one circumstance that there is not a community beyond the pale of Romanism, that does not formally and practically repudiate your doctrine in this matter? But beyond this -if your conscience is to be everything in this case, what is to be done with the hundred thousand Wesleyan consciences which are all on the other side? If in this connexion these consciences should all be accounted as nothing, then in what connexion should they be accounted as anything? Look at the matter steadily, and it must, we think, be clear, that the only consistent course for the Wesleyan Conference is, that it should assume to be infallible, and deal with offences as infallible authorities have been wont to deal with them. Are ministers, really, the only men who are to be heard on the plea of conscience, against conforming to that which they believe to be unscriptural? Is a conscientiousness of action in religion a something very proper to a priesthood-not at all proper to a people?

The question especially elaborated in the generally admirable treatise before us, is-how may government best pursue its wise middle course between the stringency of Absolutism on the one hand, and the licence of Democracy on the other? It is shown, that the power of government in the church, even in the time of the apostles, was a co-ordinate power, devolving itself naturally both on official persons and on the people; and the writer pleads, on the ground of reason and primitive usage, for such a polity, as the one thing which may save Wesleyanism from the troubles of the present, and from things even more troublous as lying out in the probabilities of the future.

We know it is said-'We are a voluntary society, men are 'with us from their own choice, and those who do not like us may leave us.' But such talk is as little consonant with reason as with good manners. It is true, John Wesley expressed himself in this way, as we have seen, about the dissatisfied in his time. The fact, however, merely shows that a man shrewd in some things may evince a sad lack of shrewdness in others. Their majesties of St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Naples, and his highness of Tuscany, say, practically, to their respective subjects,

THE RIGHT OF MINORITIES.

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that those who do not like their sway may leave it. But the good or bad in the government of these gentlefolk is good or bad notwithstanding. Our Stuart princes spoke to this effect to our forefathers. But our Hampdens and Cromwells, our Russells and Sidneys, did not take such talk as a settlement of the question at issue. They were bold enough to think that princes were made for peoples, not peoples for princes; and that ministers are made for churches, not churches for ministers. If there was to be a notice to quit, they claimed to be the party to issue it, not to be the party to receive it. The result we have in all the freeborn things distinguishing us from Russia and Austria, Tuscany and Naples. Even where the majority may be content with servitude, as majorities too commonly are, minorities have rights-not, it may be, the right to rule, but always the right to check and abate the power of those who do rule. The John Wesley argument, therefore, those who do not like us may leave us,' is as senseless and unjust as it is impertinent. All Wesleyan property must come from the Wesleyan people. On this ground, as well as on the conscientious ground, the hundred thousand have their stake and right in Methodism, to at least an equal extent with the legal hundred.'

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We bear no ill-will to Wesleyan Methodism. On the contrary, we think it has adaptations for usefulness among large classes, which no other system possesses. And we could wish for the sake of those classes, as well as for its own sake, that it might prosper. Nor do we account Methodist ministers as more blameworthy than the same number of men would be elsewhere, if taken from the same circumstances, put through the same training, and placed in the same position. All similar organizations betray, upon occasion, similar infirmities; and we must confess, that we get more distrustful every day of such centralized forms of power. In the cause of the Methodist Reformers we are bound to recognise a just cause. Of their measures we know little; but in their principles we see the principles to which we are compelled to wish God-speed. If it should be given them to unite with their zeal for a reformed polity, much of the old methodist zeal for bringing the souls of the people under true religious influences, what they have done is little compared with what they may yet do. But the religious spirit is necessary to religious progress. Men who would labour with effect in such circumstances, must see to it-that their passion to pull down, is coupled with the passion to build up. Had the rulers of Methodism taken the initiative in favour of the rights of the people, some ten or twenty years since, they could have given the system another impetus, the wholesome effect of which might

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