תמונות בעמוד

slavery in Zanzibar and the Sultan's African dominions; and concur in suggesting either that the Sultan be urged to surrender the protected trade entirely, or to consent to a gradual reduction of the number of slaves to be brought into Zanzibar to a minimum of 4000, at the same time granting our cruisers such a right of search as would practically blockade the whole of these waters, save a small limit over which the vessels of Zanzibar, furnished with proper clearances from Kilwa, might carry the slaves required for the island of Zanzibar. The Sultan, personally, is supposed to be anxious to check and suppress the trade; and, when urged to relinquish his treaty right of carrying slaves, has expressed his willingness to do so, provided our Government will, in return, refrain from compelling him to pay the subsidy which was arranged should be paid to Muscat, on the partition of the dominions of the old Imaum. Apart from the question of the relinquishment of the treaty rights, the Sultan prays to be released from this payment, giving as his reasons that it was contrary to all principles of right that he should continue to pay a subsidy to a parricide and usurper; his brother, with whom the compact was made, having been foully murdered by his son, who usurped his throne. So strongly does the Sultan appear to have felt this, that he sent an embassy to England to obtain from our Government a release from the hateful subsidy. The presence of these envoys afforded an opportunity, which was seized by the Church Missionary Society, of approaching the Government; and as the matter was within the purview of the India Office, a memorial was presented to His Grace the Duke of Argyll, setting forth shortly some of the main facts connected with the trade, and urging that the presence of the envoys afforded an opportunity that should not be lost of obtaining from the Sultan a virtual abandonment of the protected slave-trade. The deputation was kindly received by His Grace, who, from his answer, seemed to think that the condition attached by the Sultan to the concession, viz., the release from the subsidy, so complicated the question, as to render it impossible to answer the memorial of the Society until the Indian Government had been consulted. He expressed a hope that, in the meantime, the arrangements which were pending between the Admiralty and the India Office would place the East African Squadron on a more efficient footing.

We now come to the last division of our subject, the measures by which the Society hope, in some degree, to alleviate the curse brought on East Africa, and to turn that curse into a blessing. The annual returns from the East Coast squadron show that they capture every year a varying number of slaves ranging from 1000 to 1800. These poor creatures are liberated

at the nearest British port to the point of capture, and accordingly cargoes of these poor creatures, many of them children, are landed at Aden, Bombay, Mauritius, and the Seychelles Islands. The pamphlet from which we have so largely drawn, in order to point its argument in favour of a Christian settlement on or near the East Coast of Africa, to which these liberated slaves may be brought, sketches shortly the history of the Missions of the Society to West Africa, showing how the settlement of Sierra Leone, formerly only the depôt for the liberated slave, has become a Christian capital, and the centre of light for that part of Africa; and proceeds :

“The practical conclusion to which we now come is, that the efforts of our own Government to suppress the East Coast Slave Trade afford an opportunity for the evangelization of portions of the East Coast tribes similar to that so successfully embraced by the Church Missionary and other Missionary Societies at Sierra Leone ; and with hopes of similar success, provided only that a Sierra Leone can be formed on the East Coast. This is a most important point, for without some such central depôt no combined missionary effort can be made."

After balancing the advantages and difficulties presented by such localities as Zanzibar, Mauritius, Mombas, Aden, and the Seychelles Islands, the latter are pronounced most suited to the scheme proposed by the Society; which is to commence a Mission, principally of an educational character, among the liberated slaves, now or hereafter to be brought to those islands, taking charge of the children, supporting and educating them, as is still done, with the help of the Government, in the Liberated African Schools at Sierra Leone, at the Powder Mills Asylum in Mauritius, and at the African Institution at Nassick in Bombay. From letters recently received by the Society from their missionaries at Mauritius, and from the Bishop of Mauritius, we learn that there are now at the Island of Mahé, one of the Seychelles group, no less than 2000 liberated slaves, and that there are in the market several small estates suitable for the establishment of a training school, which may become self-supporting, and where the lads may be instructed in the trades and handicrafts so necessary to the development of civilized life. For further details of the scheme, we again refer our readers to the pamphlet.

Thus, practically, the Church Missionary Society seems called upon to undertake a new Mission, and already it has responded to the call by transferring to the Seychelles from the Kisulidini station of the Society on the East African coast, one of its missionaries whose ill-health had rendered a change necessary, While we would congratulate the Committee on its ready response to the call “ Come over and help us,” and concur most heartily in the scheme they have in view, we hope they will not relax their efforts to obtain from the Government such measures as shall lead to a complete abandonment of this curse of East Africa, and pave the way for the restoration, to their own wasted and depopulated though fertile country, of a people who, under the teaching of the Society, will be not only educated in agriculture and the useful arts, but “instructed unto the kingdom of heaven.” But to the accomplishment of this end many will be the obstacles; nor must the Society falter or swerve from its path at the opposition they must encounter. We beg them to remember the inheritance which has descended to them from the men who fought and won the old fight. And here the words of Sir James Stephen seem to us so encouraging, and conceived in a spirit so appropriate to that in which the present contest, inferior though it may be in magni. tude to the battle of the old slave trade, should be commenced and maintained, that we cannot do better than close this article by quoting them at length :

“In later days agitation for the accomplishment of great political objects has taken a place among social arts. But sixty years since, it was among the inventions slumbering in the womb of time, taught by no professors, and illustrated by no examples. We have lived to see many of the most ancient and solid edifices, erected by the wisdom of our ancestors, totter at the blast of leagues, associations, speeches, reports, and editorial articles, like the towers of Jericho falling before the rams' horns of Joshua. But when Mr. Wilberforce and his friends met to deliberate on their enterprise, the contrast between the magnitude of their design and the poverty of their resources demanded a faith scarcely inferior to that which encouraged the invaders of Palestine to assault with the sound of their trumpets the towers built up by the children of Anak to the heavens. Truth, indeed, and justice were on their side; and in the flower of his youth, his eloquence, and his fame, Mr. Pitt had given the bright augury of his adhesion to their cause. But, after twenty years of ceaseless controversy had rolled away, the most sanguine of them was constrained to stand in awe of the powers of falsehood' and of commercial cupidity, and to acknowledge that, in effecting so great a deliverance, God would not employ the rulers nor the mere rhetoricians of the world, but would use, as His instruments, His own devoted servants-men able to touch in the bosoms of others the sacred springs of action which were working in their own."

THE CHURCH AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 1. L'Eglise et la Révolution Française. Histoire des relations

de l'Eglise et de l'Etat de 1789 à 1802. Par Edmond de Pres

sensé. Paris. 1864. 2. The Church and the French Revolution. A History of the

Relations of Church and State from 1789 to 1802. By E. de Pressensé, D.D. Translated from the French, by John Stroyan. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1869.

WHATEVER expectation a glance at the first title of the work before us might lead us to form of finding in it an impartial narrative of the career of the Gallican Church during the most troublous times of her history, must be at once dismissed upon observing the supplementary title. We may be tolerably sure that the two words Church and State will never be found in conjunction without the presence and manifestation of strong feelings and opinions upon the subject which is expressed by their combination, and we shall not be deceived in the case of the present volumes. Indeed, in the preface to the original work, M. de Pressensé avows that his main object in compiling it has been to advance the cause of the separation of Church and State in France; and in the special preface which he has written to the English edition, he expresses his desire to promote the same cause in this country. And so open and continuous is the advocacy of that cause, which runs through all the pages, that we feel almost compelled to relegate the work from the category of historical to that of controversial writings.

Having expressed, in a recent Number, our own views upon the subject of Church and State, we will not here repeat them, but will confine ourselves to pointing out how, in our opinion, M. de Pressensé has failed to establish, from his facts, the conclusion which he desires to draw in favour of the abso. lute separation of religion and the civil administration. We shall have occasion, in the course of our review, to notice a real defect in the ecclesiastical condition of France, to which, independently of all doctrinal considerations, may, as we think, be charged, in great part, the eclipse of religion in that country at the time of the great Revolution.

We have questioned the right of M. de Pressensé's book to rank as history; but we, at the same time, readily acknowledge that it possesses a real value as a narrative of the events which affected the Church in France during the period of which it treats. We are also indebted to the author for an Vol. 68.-No. 383. .

5 R

interesting sketch of the condition of the Gallican Church, when the storm of the Revolution burst upon her. Her condition at that time appears to have resembled, in many points, that of the Church in England before the commencement of the reforms in the reign of Henry VIII. The relations between the Church and the State were very similar to those which then existed in this country. The assemblies of the clergy were under the control of the king. The nomination of the bishops was vested in him, subject to the confirmation by the Pope of the persons appointed. As in England at the eve of the Reformation, abbeys, priories, monasteries, and convents, were flourishing with medieval vigour, and perpetuating mediæval abuses. M. de Pressensé estimates the ecclesiástical revenues as amounting to nearly 200 millions of livres, or about 7,900,0001, sterling. Toleration, except in Alsace, had been unknown in the country for upwards of a century.* Nor were the dignitaries and functionaries of the Church superior to the system of which they were the representatives. Everything testified that if there were many matters in France which stood in need of reform, there were none that required it more urgently than matters ecclesiastical.

And no long time elapsed, after the formation of the National Assembly, before interests which affected the Church became subjects of discussion. Her vast wealth offered a broad front to the assaults of the rising storm. The night of the 4th of August (1789) swept away many ecclesiastical as well as civil abuses; long-standing privileges and perquisites of the clergy were abolished contemporaneously with feudal tenures and oppressive prerogatives of the nobility.

But these encroachments on the revenues of the Church, and the abolition of tithes which almost immediately succeeded them, were effected, in form at least, if not in reality, by a voluntary surrender on the part of the clergy. It was not until nearly three months later, that the Assembly proceeded to the length of decreeing that all ecclesiastical property was at the disposal of the nation, subject to due provision being made for the maintenance of religion and the relief of the poor. That step, which was speedily followed by decrees according civil rights to Protestants and Jews, and by the abolition of monastic vows, naturally led to the introduction, early in the year 1790, with a view to the discharge of part of the duties recently taken upon itself by the State, of a Bill for the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. This Bill, as it eventually became law, appears to have owed its contents mainly to the Jansenist element in the Assembly. It provided for the suppression of many of the ancient bishoprics, and a re-arrangement of the boun

• The Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685.

« הקודםהמשך »